This week sees the rise of the full “Corn Moon,” which will occur at precisely 05:22 UTC on Tuesday, September 2, 2020.

September’s full Moon is traditionally called the “Harvest Moon.” It’s one of the most famous full Moons of the year that, according to legend, shines brightly all night and allows the farmers to get their crops in late into the night.

“Do you know any farmers who would be getting their crops in under a full Moon?” said Martin Griffiths, a Wales-based science communicator, professional astronomer at Dark Sky Wales and author of Dark Land, Dark Skies: The Mabinogion in the Night Sky. “Generally they do it during the day!â????

Most of the names we give to full Moons don’t make much sense. “Take February’s “Wolf Moon” that’s supposedly named after howling wolves,” said Griffiths. “Wolves howl every month!â????

He’s right, of course, but why is there confusion about what to call this month’s fairly well-known full Moon? And what about October’s almost as famous “Hunter’s Moon?â????

September’s “missing” Harvest Moon is a casualty of the mis-match between the Moon’s orbit and the length of months.

“The Harvest Moon is traditionally the one closest to the equinox around September 21,” said Griffiths. “Most years that’s in September, but this year it’s going to be in October.”

“Normally September’s Full Moon is close enough to the equinox to be considered the Harvest Moon, but this year the full Moon is occurring very early in the month, which happens about once every four years,” said Tom Kerss, a British astronomy and science communicator who hosts the weekly Star Signs: Go Stargazing! podcast. “So it’s technically the Corn Moon, which is a backup name for September’s full moon.”

So this year September’s Harvest Moon becomes the Corn Moon, though happily that doesn’t mean October’s full Moon gets similarly “lost” because there are actually two of them.

So October 1’s full Moon will be the “Harvest Moon” this year and October 31’s full Moon will be the “Hunter’s Moon.”

Oddly, all of this occurs only once in a Blue Moon, which as well as being a famous saying, also happens to be true this year. There are two definitions of a Blue Moon, and both apply in October—so get ready for a “Blue Harvest Moon” followed by a “Blue Hunter’s Halloween Moon.”

Hang on. What? Why do we do this? As visual spectacle each month’s full Moon is virtually identical to the last. Is this lunacy?

The trick with a full Moon is to catch it at moonrise or moonset when it’s a muted orange.

The thing is, we don’t. Or, at least, we didn’t. “We’ve never named the Moon as astronomers,” said Griffiths. “The names have allegedly come down from North American Indian law, from people who never wrote anything down,” said Griffiths, who insists that he’s prepared to look at historical evidence, but so far he hasn’t found any. “We just can’t say that that Native American tribes called the Moon anything during different months.”

Besides, 20 years ago no one was talking of the “Wolf Moon” or the “Strawberry Moon”; it’s something that’s been pushed in North America as proof of an old culture, though it probably isn’t anything of the sort.

Regardless of the Moon names’ origins, there are Moon names that are geographically problematic; “Strawberry Moon” and “Harvest Moon” sounds delightful to everyone the world over, but “Beaver Moon” and “Sturgeon Moon” are meaningless to countries without beavers and sturgeon. And yet their names now persist across the globe.

We give the Moon names because we’re fascinated by it—it’s got nothing to do with astronomy.

“To astronomers these names can be mundane,” said Kerss, who recalls his ex-colleagues at Greenwich Observatory rolling their eyes whenever visitors wanted to discuss the names of the full Moons. “If it gets people talking about the Moon, looking at the Moon, photographing it and writing social media posts about it then I think the names are a good thing—they add a bit of magic.”

Full Moon names illicit the same response from astronomers as “supermoons,” which happen two or three times each year. Astronomers disregard them as faintly astrological and meaningless. Meanwhile, posts about supermoons continue to attract millions of readers. “Names have their own value—if people go out and watch, and they wouldn’t otherwise have done so, then that is a victory for astronomy communicators trying to get people into the subject,” says Kerss.

After all, astronomers don’t own the Moon—billions of people live their lives by the Moon in some way thanks to our historical fascination with it. The dates of countless religious occasions—including Hanukkah, Easter, Divali, Ramadan and Wesak—are all determined by the phases of the Moon. “The lunar calendars cultural ramifications very far-reaching—we still live our lives by the Moon,” said Kerss. “It speaks with our ancient relationship with the Moon.”

Names for the full Moon have their place. They add some sparkle and remind us that the Moon belongs to everyone. However, the real magic is in witnessing the rise or set of a full Moon—and you can find out here how, when and where to see the “Corn Moon” rise and set this week.

I’m an experienced science, technology and travel journalist interested in space exploration, moon-gazing, exploring the night sky, solar and lunar eclipses,

I’m an experienced science, technology and travel journalist interested in space exploration, moon-gazing, exploring the night sky, solar and lunar eclipses, astro-travel, wildlife conservation and nature. I’m the editor of WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com and the author of “A Stargazing Program for Beginners: A Pocket Field Guide” (Springer, 2015), as well as many eclipse-chasing guides.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiecartereurope/2020/08/29/the-case-of-the-missing-moon-what-happened-to-this-weeks-harvest-moon/

World news – GB – What Happened To The â????Harvest Moon?â???? Why This Weekâ????s Full Moon Has A â????Backupâ???? Name

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