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Time For The Harvest Moon, Wednesday, September 26

September 25, 2007

harvest-moon.jpg

This is one of my favorite events each year. 

There’s a full moon Wednesday night and it has a special name–the Harvest Moon. In the days before electric lights, farmers relied on moonlight to help them gather ripening autumn crops. The “Harvest Moon” rising brightly in the east at sunset allowed work to continue late into the night.

As Wikipedia explains it is quite a sight to see.

It is claimed by some that the Harvest Moon seems to be somehow bigger or brighter or yellower in color than other full moons. This is an illusion. The yellow or golden or orangish or reddish color of the moon shortly after it rises is a physical effect, which stems from the fact that, when you see the moon low in the sky, you are looking at it through a greater amount of atmosphere than when the moon is overhead. The atmosphere scatters the bluish component of white moonlight (which is really reflected sunlight) but allows the reddish component of the light to travel a straighter path to your eyes. Hence all moons (and stars and planets) look reddish when they are low in the sky.

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