Harvest moon makes first October appearance since 2009

Bradford Telegraph and Argus

The Harvest Moon on October 5. 2017

The harvest moon is so called because for centuries, farmers waited for it so they could gather in crops to prepare for winter, using its bright light to extend the working day. In other words, moon rises near twilight around this time.

Beyond that, there's not much that differentiates harvest moons from regular moons - beyond the time of year.

More scientifically, the harvest moon is defined as the full moon closest to the September equinox - this year the equinox occurred on September 22.

"The previous one was in 2009, but the one before that was 2006, and the next one will be in 2020", Ernie Wright, scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, told National Geographic.

Last year's harvest moon was a supermoon, as the moon was especially close to Earth.

Be aware that the moon looks the biggest when it's lowest in the sky, so early in the night is the best time to see it.

2018's Harvest Moon is supposed to happen in September as well.

If the weather is clear, we should get an incredible view of the full moon.

Of course, if you have a decent 'scope or pair of binoculars, it will make the moon look even more impressive.

Sometimes, it is alleged that the moon turns a deep orange for the Harvest Moon.

It's because you are seeing it through the thickness of the Earth's atmosphere which causes it to appear to change colour slightly.

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