CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- There will be a full Moon tonight. But not just any full Moon. Because on Saturday September 29, 2012 at 11:18 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, there is going to be a full Harvest Moon.
The Harvest Moon gets its name from agriculture. In the days before electric lights, farmers depended on bright moonlight to extend the workday beyond sunset. It was the only way they could gather their ripening crops in time for market. The full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox became "the Harvest Moon," and it was always a welcome sight.
Usually, the Harvest Moon arrives a few days to weeks before or after the beginning of fall. The Autumn Equinox and changing of the seasons occurred on September 22, 2012 at 10:49 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Equinox means "equal night" in Latin, capturing the idea that daytime and nighttime are equal lengths everywhere on the planet.
2012 Autumn Equinox, 2012 Harvest Moon, and 2012 Daylight Savings Time
Naturally, many people think that with the changing of the seasons comes the changing of their clocks at the beginning of Fall 2012. But this is not the case.
It is true however, that a helpful way to remember whether to set our clocks ahead or behind one hour during the daylight savings time is to "Fall Back" and "Spring Ahead."
The beginning of Fall 2012 does not mean the end of 2012 Daylight Savings Time. 2012 Daylight Savings Time occurs after the 2012 Autumn Equinox and 2012 Harvest Moon when days become shorter and shorter heading closer to the Winter Solstice.
So if you are asking, "When does daylight savings time end?" "Do we change clocks when Fall starts?" The answer is the date Daylight Savings Time (DST) will end for Florida is on Sunday November 4, 2012.
This is one week before Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, which is on Sunday November 11, 2012 but will be observed this year on Monday November 12, 2012 .
The rest of the United States will also turn their clocks back on November 4, 2012 with the exception of Hawaii and Arizona because those states do not practice Daylight Savings Time.
This means that we gain (not lose) an hour when we turn our clocks back an hour to 1:00 a.m. when our clocks reach 1:59 a.m. on Sunday.
Daylight Savings Time 2013 begins again on Sunday March 10, 2013 and will end Sunday November 3, 2013.
Article based in part on NASA publications.
Image Credit: NASA