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Tonight's Full Moon 12 Percent Bigger

Tonight's full Moon will be almost 12 percent bigger than some of the full Moons this year, according to NASA, setting up a fine viewing opportunity when it rises in the evening.

The reason: The Earth's Moon is near perigee, the point on its slightly out-of-round orbit that is closest to Earth.

This Moon is called the Harvest Moon, owing to its timing of being nearest the autumnal equinox. Farmers in the past relied on it to harvest all night. The Harvest Moon is not always closer and bigger than normal.

The Moon will rise around 6 p.m. local time (compute exact time for your location). It will be officially "full" at 11:13 p.m. ET, though the Moon is never really full.

Some other strange Moon facts:

  • The Moon is not bigger when on the horizon.
  • The Moon is moving away as you read this. Far away.
  • There is no proof the Moon makes people crazy.

Late Monday night and into Tuesday morning, Oct. 10, the Moon will pass in front of the Pleiades star cluster, creating an interesting skywatching opportunity for skywatchers with telescopes.

More to Explore

  • Moon Image Gallery
  • Skywatcher's Guide to the Moon
  • How Lunar Phases Work

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