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Sep 08 2014

Harvest Super Moon

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The full moon will rise tonight over the east coast at 6:55 PM EDT. It is the third consecutive super moon and the 5th this year.

We in astronomy used to call them perigean new moons or perigean full moons, that is, new or full moons closely coinciding with perigee – the moon’s closest point to Earth in its orbit. But, like almost everyone else, now we enjoy calling them supermoons. The name supermoon was coined by an astrologer, Richard Nolle, over 30 years ago. It was popularized and came to be the accepted term for most people only in the past few years. Are supermoons hype? In our opinion … gosh, no, just modern folklore. And they can cause real physical effects, such as larger-than-usual tides. The year 2014 has a total of five supermoons. They are the two new moons of January, and the full moons of July, August and September.

It’s also the Harvest Moon which is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox which falls (punny) on September 22 this year.

The super Harvest Moon and Mid-Autumn Festival of September 8-9 are early in 2014, but September equinox isn’t until September 23 at 2:29 UTC. Although the equinox happens at the same moment worldwide, the clock times vary by time zone.

In the U.S. this equinox comes on September 22 at 10:29 p.m. EDT, 9:29 p.m. CDT, 8:29 p.m. MDT or 7:29 p.m. PDT.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the sun is rising later now, and nightfall comes sooner. This is our autumn equinox, when the days are getting shorter in the Northern Hemisphere. At this equinox, day and night are approximately equal in length. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, people are enjoying the cooler days of autumn even as preparations for winter are underway. South of the equator, spring begins.

Depending on where you live the Super Harvest Moon can be on either tonight, September 8 or September 9

It happens on September 9 at 1:38 Universal Time. In North America, the crest of the moon’s full phase comes on September 8, at 9:38 p.m. EDT, 8:38 p.m CDT, 7:38 p.m. MDT or 6:38 p.m. PDT.

So the night of September 8-9 has the brightest, fullest moon for the Americas. Meanwhile, for the most of Asia, the moon turns precisely full during the daylight hours on September 9. For all of us, by the night of September 9-10, the moon will be waning. In fact, September 8, 2014 is the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival in Asia, which is linked to this full moon.

For modern Pagans and Wiccans, this moon marks the start of the second harvest which culminates on the Autumnal Equinox. The third and final harvest then begins as the nights are longer than the days and we start to prepare in earnest for winter. Samhein, or Halloween, marks the final harvest celebration with bond fires, feasts and music marking the passing of another year and the beginning of winter.

Wherever you are tonight, step outside, stand barefoot on the earth, reach up to touch the moon and breath.

3 comments

  1. TMC
  2. BobbyK

    Harvest super moon?  

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