As we head into fall, the next few months are looking good for skywatchers. Many are predicting that the aurora will be at higher levels in the next few weeks. This means more lights shows. Skywatchers will also be able to take advantage of the last supermoon of 2023 this week when the harvest moon appears in the sky.
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The harvest moon earned its name due to when it usually appears in the sky. Also known as corn moon to some Indigenous groups in the northeastern parts of the country, the harvest moon is named such because it usually helps signify that the summer crops are ready to be harvested.
Farmers have relied on the full moon that appears in September to help light their fields as they worked to harvest their crops late into the night, The Washington Post reports. The harvest moon, however, will act as a “supermoon” this month. It occurs when the Earth and moon are at their closest distance and that the moon is fully.
Further, because of when it takes place, this year’s harvest moon will also be the last supermoon of 2023, appearing brighter and bigger when it appears in the sky Thursday night into Friday morning. The moon will be at its fullest at around 5:57 a.m. on Friday. You should be able see the moon in the night sky at any time. It’ll be fully lit from sunrise until sunset.
Of course, you’ll be able to see an almost full moon in the days leading up to and after the last supermoon of 2023 peaks. It is best to go at least one day prior or following the peak of the supermoon in order to view it at its fullest. A small shadow may cover a tiny sliver.
Whether you see it the day before or the day of, the last supermoon of 2023 is set to be a beautiful moon, and we recommend heading outside and catching a glimpse of this beautiful event as it happens. Since it is officially autumn, you may even have the opportunity to enjoy a few minutes under the stars.