DELANO, CA - FEBRUARY 13:  Crows gather in large nightly communal roosts under a full moon after spe...

Science

You need to see the bright Harvest Moon in the sky this month

The September Full Moon heralds the arrival of fall.

David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images

September’s Full Moon, called the Harvest Moon, is a clear reference to the seasons changing. Before long, much of the northern United States will harvest its crops.

The Harvest Moon gets to its brightest September 10, and with nights once again lengthening it will be a wonderful time to go outside to enjoy the celestial sight. While it might be a little chilly outdoors, the Full Moon is worth a little cold.

What is the harvest moon?

September’s Full Moon is called the Harvest Moon for agricultural reasons and also for timing reasons. NASA says we use this name for the Moon that appears closest to the autumnal equinox. Since fall begins on September 22, this means the Harvest Moon appears in September this year, but occasionally it arrives in October.

Your culture might have a different name associated with the Moon, or it may be that your local area has a moniker that it uses, uniquely from other regions. But for what it’s worth, the term “Harvest Moon” is a popular expression in the United States.

How to see the September 2022 Full Moon

The Full Moon will reach its peak at 5:59 a.m. Eastern on September 10, but we are sympathetic if you cannot be up so early. Luckily, the Moon will appear nearly Full both the night before and the night after.

September provides a likely bug-free time to examine the Full Moon, at least in more northern regions of the United States, although you might need a coat or a hat to bundle up a little against the coming cold.

The phases of the Moon.imageBROKER/Rita Priemer/imageBROKER/Getty Images

How much brighter is the Moon during a Full Moon?

Every 27 days, the Moon moves completely around the Earth and comes into a position where the Sun is directly opposite the Moon. Sometimes this celestial geometry puts the Moon in eclipse, but not this month. Rather, the Sun’s light will flow around our planet and fall fully on the Earth-facing side of the Moon.

The Full Moon is magnitude -12.92 and about six times as bright as the Half Moon. The Full Moon outshines all celestial objects (and even satellites) except for the Sun. The brightest stars aren’t quite at magnitude -2, and most humans can see as dim as magnitude 6 in dark-sky conditions.

When is the next Full Moon?

A lunar year of 12 months is 354 days, but the Gregorian Calendar most of the world follows is 365 days. So sometimes, we can get a 13th Full Moon into a single year, but that won’t happen in 2022.

The next Full Moon is called the Hunter’s Moon. It will reach its peak at 4:55 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, October 9.

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