Look up! A stunning harvest full moon has risen in the sky and should be visible each night this weekend.
According to Space.com, the term “Harvest Moon” refers to the full moon that falls nearest to the autumnal equinox, which occurred Sept. 22. Harvest moons are rare in October, but can occur as late as Oct. 7.
What is a Harvest Moon
According to NASA, many crops ripen in late summer, early autumn, so farmers had to work after sundown. Thanks to moonlight, they were able to keep working and the “harvest moon” was born.
“In the days before tractors with headlights, having moonlight to work by was crucial to getting the harvest in quickly before rain caused it to rot,” according to Alan MacRobert, an editor at Sky &Telescope magazine.
How you can see the moon
Even without a telescope, it’s possible to see many features on the surface of the moon.
Space.com advises stargazers to look for contrasting light and dark regions. The light regions are older layers of rock that floated to the surface when the moon was covered in a magma ocean
Looking for clear skies? The best views Thursday evening will be in the West, the Southeast and New England, according to the National Weather Service:
— USA TODAY Weather (@usatodayweather) October 5, 2017