The full Harvest Moon rises tonight (Sept. 8) in a stunning lunar sight for stargazers, but if bad weather clouds out your view, you can still catch the view live online.
Each year, the full moon that rises closest to the September equinox is given the Harvest Moon title. Tonight's full moon happens to have that distinction. The Slooh Community Observatory, an online skywatching organization, will host a live webcast about the Harvest Moon tonight starting at 9:30 p.m. EDT (0130 Sept. 9 GMT) on its website Slooh.com.
You can also watch the Full Harvest Moon webcast live on Space.com, courtesy of Slooh.
"Whether we call this a super Harvest Moon or a Harvest supermoon, and whether we fuss over the fact that lunar perigee happened just one night before this moon was full, there's no denying that it's the Harvest Moon," Slooh astronomer Bob Berman said in a statement. "This is the year's most famous full moon, and one of only two that even have a name. Yet it's bathed in myth and misconception even without all the extra 'supermoon' business. It will be fun to explore the true secrets of the Harvest Moon while watching it live."
The Harvest Moon usually marks the beginning of autumn, however, this year, the special full moon is falling early. This moon qualifies as the last full moon of the summer.
The moon officially reaches its full phase at 9:38 p.m. EDT (0138 Sept. 9 GMT) tonight.
The full phase of the moon is caused by the alignment of the Earth, moon and sun. When the moon is 180 degrees from the sun in the sky, the visible face of the moon is totally illuminated by the sun.
Editor's Note: If you take an amazing image of the Harvest Moon or any other night sky view that you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.