We all know the Autumn Equinox is approaching and will arrive late Wednesday night. But there's another, rarer treat in store, as well. From the script of last week's "Stargazer" show on PBS:
Now traditionally the full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox, is called the Harvest Moon. And since the autumnal equinox Wednesday night will be followed by the full Moon only six hours later this year we are following the lead of astronomer Fred Schaaf and calling it the Harvestest Moon. The last time this happened was 1991 and the next time will be 2029.I'll prolly miss the next Harvest-est Moon but I'll be outside for this one, cloud cover permitting. Stay tuned for more "Moon Over the Super Eight!"
But the Harvest Moon means even more because even though there is only one official night of the Harvest Moon the visual effects last for three nights, September 22, 23 and 24th. Now normally the Moon rises about 50 minutes later each successive night but the Harvest Moon rises only 20 to 25 minutes later each successive night. This is because the path of the full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox makes a much smaller angle with the horizon than at any other time of year.