Sunday, September 27, brings us a whopping 4 moons at one time–the Blood Moon, the Harvest Moon, a Super Moon, and a Total Lunar Eclipse! Of course, they all refer to the same moon but each has a special meaning.
The Blood Mood refers to the last total lunar eclipse in a tetrad of 4 total lunar eclipses. This tetrad started on April 15, 2014 and includes the eclipses on October 8, 2014 and April 4, 2015. The next tetrad won’t begin until April, 2032.
The Harvest Moon refers to the full moon in September. Folklore says that this is the Harvest Moon because farmers can work late into the night bringing in the harvest by the bright light of the full moon. Nowadays I’m pretty sure that headlights have taken over that duty!
A Super Moon occurs when the full moon also happens when the moon is at its closest point to the Earth in its slightly elliptical orbit. This Super Moon will be about 225,000 miles from the Earth won’t be this close again until November of 2016. The difference is noticeable in both size and brightness but shouldn’t be confused with the “Moon Illusion” that makes a full moon near the horizon look massively huge. The Moon Illusion really is an illusion–just bracket that huge full moon with two fingers–it will shrink right back to normal size.
Finally, this full moon with be a Total Lunar Eclipse. For us, the eclipse will have already have started at moonrise but totality–when the moon enters the darkest central part of the Earth’s shadow–will begin with the moon nicely above the horizon and will last for an amazing 72 minutes!
To find the time of moonrise for your location, go to http://www.timeanddate.com/moon/ and enter your location.
Moon rise is always a magical moment, and watching one with intent makes it even better!
With clear skies, of course.
guest writer, Jeff Ross