After two stunning supermoons earlier this summer, Monday night’s Harvest supermoon is certain to dazzle in the grand finale.
Sky gazers across North America can expect to see a glowing orb around sunset – providing a beautiful backdrop to capture pictures during an evening walk.
The full moon will be the one closet to this year’s autumnal equinox, which starts on Sept. 22, giving it the distinction of being the harvest moon. It is expected to reach its full phase at 9:38 p.m. ET according to ABC News.
While it is still summer, the harvest moon earned its place in lunar lore because the moon rises several days before and after, closer to sunset.
When electricity didn’t exist, the harvest moon illuminated the fields, allowing farmers to tend to their crops under the night sky, according to EarthSky.
The early Harvest Moon also qualifies as a supermoon because it turns full less than one day after the moon reaches its closest point to Earth for the month – making it a Harvest supermoon.
The Harvest supermoon is part of a trio of summer supermoons that illuminated the Northern Hemisphere and drew much attention to the night sky.
But the Harvest moon is special for another reason – other than rounding out a summer of supermoons. Typically, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day throughout the year. But when the full moon occurs near the fall equinox, the gaps between moonrises are shorter, reports Business Insider. The moon rises only about 30 minutes later each night, appearing in the sky at sunset. This has to do with the moon’s path, which makes a narrow angle with the horizon at the start of autumn. Not only does the moon rise earlier in the evening, but this happens for a few nights in a row – before and after the full moon – resulting in three consecutive days of the moon appearing at nearly the same time.
These events combined give the illusion that the Harvest Moon is larger, brighter, and closer, when reality it’s not. This year, the Harvest Moon will appear even larger than usual because it’s a supermoon.