The full Harvest Moon will appear after sunset on Friday and reach its peak around 5:58 a.m. EST on Saturday, the Farmer’s Almanac said.
The harvest moon is the full moon that falls closest to the autumnal equinox, when day and night are most evenly split. The day traditionally marks the start of fall and cool temperatures, a change that residents of the West fondly daydreamed about this week as temperatures soared well over 100 degrees in many places.
The equinox for the southern hemisphere happens March 20 or 21.
The Harvest Moon is said to look larger and have an orange glow, an optical illusion attributable to observing the full moon near the horizon, according to John Percy, professor at Toronto University’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
The color can be attributed to bluer wavelengths of light getting lost over the moon’s longer path. Dust or pollution can also saturate any reddish tones.
Here are some other names the September full moon has been called:
- Autumn moon
- Falling leaves moon
- Leaves turning moon
- Moon of brown leaves
- Yellow leaf moon
- Rutting moon
At the peak of harvest, the almanac said farmers can work late into the night by the light of the Harvest Moon.
The next full moon will arrive on October 9. It is called the Hunter’s Moon.