Friday, September 16, 2016

2016 Harvest Moon Tonight Is A Supermoon


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- There will be a Full Moon tonight, Friday, September 16, 2016. But not just any Full Moon. This Full Moon is a Harvest Moon that also happens to be a Supermoon.

What Time Is The September 2016 Harvest Moon?

On the Florida's east coast, the Harvest Moon will rise over the Atlantic Ocean around 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on September 16 and set the following morning just before 8 a.m., with some slight time variation (+/- 20 minutes) depending on the viewer's exact location.  

When is the best time to watch the Supermoon?

Low hanging moons near the horizon appear larger to humans.  So, the Supermoon will appear biggest to the naked eye on the U.S east coast during and just after the moonrise.

Why is September's Full  Moon Called a 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."

Usually, the Harvest Moon arrives a few days to weeks before or after the beginning of fall. This year, the Autumn Equinox and changing of the calendar seasons will occur on September 22, 2016. Equinox means "equal night" in Latin, capturing the idea that daytime and nighttime are equal lengths everywhere on the planet.

Image credit: NASA