Every autumn, the Moon puts on a special show. Look east at sunset on September 18, 19 and 20, and you'll see a bright Moon rising just as the Sun disappears for the night.
"Harvest Moon" is the name given to the full Moon closest to the Fall equinox, which in 2013 occurs at September 19 at 4:12 am Pacific.
Usually the Moon rises 50 minutes later each night, but around the Autumnal Equinox, the Moon appears only 30 minutes later. This gives the illusion that there's a bright full Moon rising at sunset for several nights in a row.
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Before electric lights, farmers once used these extra hours of moonlight to bring in the season's harvest from the fields, and hence the nickname "Harvest Moon."
The farther north of the equator you live, the better your view; unfortunately you can't see the Harvest Moon illusion at all near the equator.
Neither can you see this September's Harvest Moon from Australia. If you live in the southern hemisphere, you'll have to wait until next year when a similar multi-day full Moon graces the skies around the time of the Spring Equinox. For those living south of the equator the next "southern" Harvest Moon occurs on March 16, 2014.
This year, the Harvest Moon is also the full Moon in Pisces, a time when emotions and psychic awareness intensify. Take some extra time to ground yourself and soak in these special Moon vibes!
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