The Harvest Moon Effect

With the full moon rising on the evening of the 26th, the 2007 “Harvest Moon” appeared in all it’s glory in the eastern sky, and was visible setting in the western sky on the 27th even after 8.00am.

Tonight’s moon rises a scant 25 minutes after last night’s moon, giving rise to the phrase “Harvest Moon Effect.” Whereas under normal circumstances the moon rises approximately 50 minutes later each night from our location, during this time of year the moon rises in half that time. This is due to the angle of the ecliptic in relation to the horizon. The smaller angle means the moon rises at nearly the same time over successive evenings, giving more moonlight all night.

This effect is slightly less pronounced next month, when the “Hunter’s Moon” will rise on the evening of October 26th. But between now and then, go out and experience the wonder of the pale moonlight bathing your surroundings in its soft, ethereal glow.

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