While it's still summer until September 23, it's already starting to feel like fall. Between Pumpkin Spice Lattes returning to Starbucks and Trader Joe's rolling out their seasonal food items, it's starting to feel like summer is already long gone. Adding to that autumnal feeling is the arrival of the Harvest Moon on Friday (September 13). For those not as familiar with this lunar experience, the Harvest Moon is a full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox.
So, what's so special about a Harvest Moon? First of all, it's actually pretty rare to see one. According to the Farmer's Almanac, the Harvest Moon only happens once every 20 or so years. The last time this happened was on October 13, 2000 and the next time you'll be able to catch a glimpse of this phenomenon will be on August 13, 2049. As Newsweek reports, the Harvest Moon is historically significant, as well. The September equinox allowed farmers to work later into the evenings during harvest season.
If you're interested in checking out the Harvest Moon on Friday, you'll be able to see this rare full moon at different times based on where you're living in the United States. If you're living on the east coast, the Harvest Moon will be visible just after midnight at 12:33 a.m., which, yes, is technically on Saturday (September 14). If you're located in Central, Pacific, or Mountain time zones, however, you'll be able to view Harvest Moon once the sun sets for the evening.
It's also possible that the Harvest Moon will be a Supermoon or a Micromoon. A Supermoon is when a full moon nearly coincide with perigee aka the closest the moon comes to Earth in its elliptic orbit. When a Supermoon occurs, the moon appears to be larger than it normally does. A Micromoon occurs when a full moon coincides with apogee aka the point in which the moon is farthest away from Earth. This makes the moon appear smaller than normal.
Will you be checking out the Harvest Moon this week?