Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Harvest moon... in October?

Here’s some trivia for you… in which month can you see the “harvest” moon?

If you said September, you’re right.

Sometimes.  But not always.

The harvest moon is defined as the full moon that occurs nearest to the autumnal equinox, which happens around September 21, 22 or 23 of each year.  But that doesn’t mean the harvest moon must occur in September.  In fact, the full moon nearest to the equinox can occur in early October, and it would be this full moon we know as the harvest moon.

The last time we had this set of circumstances was in 2009, when the equinox occurred on September 22. The full moon that year happened on September 4 (18 days before), but it was the full moon of October 4, only 12 days after the equinox, that was nearest to the equinox and, therefore, that year’s harvest moon.

This won’t happen again until 2017.