September is starting off with a celestial sight you won't want to miss: Tonight, a Full Corn Moon will light up the sky. Typically, the Harvest Moon, which is the full moon that happens closest to the autumnal equinox, occurs in September, according to the Farmer's Almanac. But since September's full moon falls so early in the month this year, the full moon in early October will be closest to the equinox (September 22 or 23). So October's first full moon will be the Harvest Moon, and September's full moon will be the Corn Moon.
Why Is It Called the Full Corn Moon
As you might know, historically, full moons got their names from Native Americans. Based on where they lived, they named full moons after natural events during the season, which helped them track the time of the year. So this month's moon is called the Full Corn Moon because it corresponded with the time to harvest corn in what is now the northeastern United States, according to the Farmer's Almanac. Another name for the moon is the Full Barley Moon since the barley crop was also ready to harvest during this time.
When to See the Full Corn Moon
The Full Corn Moon will reach its peak illumination on Wednesday, September 2 at around 1:20 a.m., EST. But you can start watching it rise after tonight's sunset. For the best view of the last full moon of the summer, look toward the eastern horizon. Happy skywatching!
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