Harvest Moon Comes Unusually Early This Year

Good viewing of the Harvest Moon this weekend

Dag Sundberg

Friday night into Saturday morning, Sept. 10, the annual Harvest Moon will shine brightly over North Texas.

If you're thinking it sounds a bit early to be talking about the Harvest Moon, you are correct. Typically it occurs later in the month, coinciding with the first day of fall, which is Sept. 22 this year.

The Harvest Moon, by definition, is the full moon closest to the September equinox (the first day of fall).

It just so happens that this year the full moon closest to that date occurs nearly two weeks before the equinox (12 days). The next full moon is Oct. 9, which is 17 days after the equinox.

So why does the Harvest Moon date change every year? It has to do with the time it takes for the moon to go around the earth, which is 27 days. Since this amount is much less than the time it takes for the earth to rotate around the sun (365 days), moon phases and seasons aren't in sync. Thus, dates will vary from year to year.

The moon will be completely full at precisely 4:59 a.m. Saturday and will light up the night sky for several nights before and after.

The current forecast calls for mostly clear skies so it should be good viewing. And of course, no need for a telescope! 

Contact Us