Smoky Mountain Harvest Moon is on the rise!
The Harvest Moon will appear in the evening of Thursday, October 1, 2020 reaching peak illumination at 5:05 P.M. EDT.
The Harvest Moon is different from other full Moons because it is not associated with a specific month, as the others are. Instead, the Harvest Moon relates to the timing of the autumnal equinox (September 22, 2020). The Harvest Moon is the Moon that occurs nearest to the equinox. This means that the Harvest Moon can occur in either September or October, depending on how the lunar cycles line up with the Gregorian calendar.
The Harvest Moon does typically occur in September, taking the place of the Full Corn Moon. However, it occasionally lands in October instead, replacing the Full Hunter’s Moon.
Why Is it Called the Harvest Moon?
The Harvest moon gets its name because moonrise comes soon after sunset. This results in an abundance of bright moonlight early in the evening, which was a traditional aide to farmers and crews harvesting their summer-grown crops. Hence, it’s called the “Harvest Moon!”
There are just over 12 complete Moon cycles every year, on average (there being about 29.53 days in each syndonic month). The Harvest Moon isn’t like the other Moons. Usually, throughout the year, the Moon rises an average of about 50 minutes later each day. During the autumnal equinox, the difference is only 30 minutes.
The Full Harvest Moon rises at sunset and then will rise very near sunset for several nights in a row because the difference is at a yearly minimum. It may almost seem as if there are full Moons multiple nights in a row!