The moment is finally here, the last of the three super moons of summer 2014.
We knew it would come this fast. First was the July super moon, heralding the trio.
Second was in August, the biggest because it coincided with perigee, the moon’s closest approach to Earth, as well as with the Perseid meteor shower.
Fast forward to now, tonight—9:38 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Monday September 8, to be exact—and we’ve got, in the blink of an eye, the Harvest Moon. It is so named because it’s the full moon closest to the fall equinox, which falls on September 22.
September’s full moon barely squeaks by as the Harvest Moon this year, according to Earthsky.org, making it by a mere matter of hours.
“In 2014, the September full moon narrowly beats out the October full moon for the honor of being the Harvest Moon,” Earthsky.org reports. “Had the September and October full moons occurred 16 hours earlier this year, the October 2014 full moon would have claimed the Harvest Moon title. The last October Harvest Moon was October 4, 2009, and will next occur on October 5, 2017.”
It is also known as the Corn Moon, according to Space.com, because of the extra light it affords farmers for harvesting.
“The Harvest Moon's claim to fame is that instead of rising its normal average of 50 minutes later each day, it rises only a little later each night, providing farmers with extra moonlit evenings to reap their crops,” Space.com reports.
“At mid-northern latitudes, the Harvest Moon rises about 35 to 40 minutes later for several evenings in a row,” says Earthsky.org. “And at far northern latitudes, the Harvest Moon rises around 15 minutes later for several evenings in succession.”
Whatever it is called, this is one moon that not only shines on all week—showering down extra rays from tonight through the 10th—but will also grace our skies during the day, in the west during the morning hours, Earthsky.org tells us.
“At mid-northern latitudes in North America, the moon will set about three hours after sunrise on September 11, and will set about one hour later each day thereafter,” Earthsky.org says. A “bonanza of moonlight.”