This year's harvest moon is unusual -- here's what a harvest moon actually is

What is a harvest moon?

By definition, the harvest moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the first day of autumn. In fact, that’s how it got its name.

In the early days, Farmers would harvest crops day and night. Before electricity, a full moon offered the best light for harvesting at night, hence harvest moon.

But there’s something else that makes the harvest moon unique In the few days before and after the harvest moon, the moon rises at sunset. Seeing the moon against a well-lit horizon makes it appear larger.

Plus, since it rises at sunset, the harvest moon often takes on an orange-ish hue. The total effect is a giant pumpkin in the sky. A fitting sight to kick off the fall season.

This year’s harvest moon will rise on Oct. 5. This is unusual because the harvest moon often appears in September.

So look for the moon at sunset over the next few days. It’s sure to be an amazing view you won’t see again until next year.

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