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Get Ready For the Harvest Moon

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From Weather Underground News where you can read the entire article by clicking on the blue type:

Get ready for the Harvest Moon. Depending on where you live on the planet, it’s either Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

“In traditional skylore, the Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox,” EarthSky reports, “and depending on the year, [it] can come anywhere from two weeks before to two weeks after the autumnal equinox.” For 2013, that changing of the seasons happens on September 22 — just a few days from now.

Unlike the Blue Moon we covered back in August, the Harvest Moon behaves differently than a typical full moon. “Throughout the year, the moon rises, on average, about 50 minutes later each day,” according to NASA Science News. “But near the autumnal equinox … the day-to-day difference in the local time of moonrise is only 30 minutes.” Why does that matter? Simply put, agriculture.

“In the days before electric lights, farmers depended on bright moonlight to extend the workday beyond sunset,” wrote NASA’s Dr. Tony Phillips. “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, and it was always a welcome sight.”

So my question is this – the Harvest Moon is what we call it, because it gave farmers extra time to bring in the harvest. What do other cultures call it?

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September 17, 2013 - Posted by | Cultural, Education, Statistics, Technical Issue, Weather

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