The Unusual Reason Tonight’s Full Moon is the Corn Moon

The season is changing.

There’s a lot of unusual stuff going on around tonight’s full moon. First, it will rise to appear situated in the constellation of Aquarius. Second, and it will find its trajectory passing near Neptune as the blue planet will have been sitting in opposition on Tuesday evening; the point at which the planet will have appeared brightest in our sky.

To see the full moon and Neptune at the same time, you’ll need to have a telescope, or at least binoculars, because far-away Neptune isn’t visible to the naked eye. According to, the moon and Neptune will pass within 0.73 degrees of each other around 1 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday, with Neptune hanging out just to the northwest of the moon.

The moon will be officially full at 3 a.m. Eastern Wednesday, so plan to stay up late tonight.

The full fall moon on September 16, 2016, in Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, Wyoming.

Flickr, USFWS Mountain-Prairie

Traditionally, September’s full moon is always called the Harvest Moon, but not this time around. Since the Harvest Moon is always the full moon that arrives closest to the fall equinox (September 22), the full moon on October 5 will get the iconic title. September’s full moon, instead, has been deemed the Corn Moon. It’s been the go-to name for the full moon when it falls far enough away from the fall equinox, as First Nations tribes always gave the moon names that reflected aspects of the season.

As the Corn Moon, or alternately the Barley Moon, early September’s moon name reflects the crops that were ready for harvest around this time. It’s also known as the Falling Leaves Moon and the Nut Moon.

If you’re interested in this article, check out this video on the planets orbiting Trappist-1.

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