Monday, October 25, 2010

Following the Harvest Moon

September and October are always exciting times when it comes to astrology. Perhaps there is no time in the moon's cycle that is more attributed to myth, legend and folklore than the full moon. The effect of the full moon has created a stir for thousands of years, and not just concerning werewolves. Even today the monthly occurance is acredited with increasing fertility and inducing births.

This September was an especially exciting full moon as it landed on the Autumnal Equinox. There is a myth going around the internet that claims that if a full moon falls on the equinox that it will create a "Super Harvest Moon" and the moon will appear three times it's usual size. Zach and I always take pictures on the full moon in September and October, but this year I was sure to get out on September 23rd tripod in hand ready to capture this rare circumstance in astrology. And, of course, I was victim to the internet scam and though it was a beautiful moon, there was nothing abnormal about it.

This past Saturday was the October full moon. We usually go out the day before and after as well. The moon rises about 2o minutes later each evening throughout the Fall. In Michigan the sun sets so early that from Friday to Sunday, we took pictures ranging from daylight to sunset to nighttime at each rise. I always like to be ready as the moon crests the horizon because it is usually that awesome orange color. The moon at the horizon also appears larger to the naked eye. There is much debate as to why this phenomenon occurs. Many say it is an optical illusion, a trick of our depth perception and that if you actually measure the moon it is the same size at the horizon as when it rises and turn white in the sky. Others say it's refracted light caused by the humidity in the atmosphere, that this acts like a giant lens magnifying the moon. Either way, it makes for one beautiful sight. "The Harvest Moon is so named as it is the full moon closest to the Equinox. because the light reflected from the moon's rays allowed farmers to work longer in the fields during the crucial time of the harvest." (paraphrased from the Farmer's Almanac check out this link for some other interesting Full Moon Names, like the Full Corn Moon, telling Native Americans when the corn was ready to harvest). To check rise times in your area visit Moon Rise Calculator.

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