Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017 Full Harvest Moon Tonight


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- There will be a Full Moon tonight, Thursday, October 5, 2017. But not just any full moon. That's because this Full Moon is a Harvest Moon that rarely occurs in October.

What Time Does The 2017 Harvest Moon Occur?

On the Florida's east coast, the Harvest Moon will rise over the Atlantic Ocean around 7:21 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 5 and set the following morning just after 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 Full Moon?

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

Why is October'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 occurred on September 22, 2017. Equinox means "equal night" in Latin, capturing the idea that daytime and nighttime are equal lengths everywhere on the planet.

Image credit: NASA