Tonight’s full moon will not only be a full moon, but the third supermoon of the summer and the harvest moon. While the “harvest moon”, sometimes called the “corn moon” can occur in either September or October, this year it will rise tonight. “Harvest moon” is a term used to describe the full moon that falls closest to the Autumnal equinox or September 23.

harvest moon

Harvest moon superstitious implications

If you happen to be superstitious, I have some advice for you this evening. Stock up on batteries, drinking water and contraception because your partner is going to get pregnant and we’re all going to die. Superstition, not fact, dictates that upon the arrival of the harvest moon, women become more fertile and natural disasters are imminent. While utter nonsense, both Hurricane Katrina and the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that caused the Japanese tsunami did occur in the last decade under the watchful eye of a harvest moon.

This summer has seen a trio of supermoons that will come to a conclusion this evening. The moon will reach its full phase when it reaches the spot in the sky opposite from the sun. That moment will occur Monday at 9:38 p.m. EDT (0138 GMT). The supermoon distinction is given to full moons in perigee rather than apogee.

Pumpkin moon

For Charlie Brown fans, the moon has a chance to also resemble “The Great Pumpkin” as harvest moons often appear orange and swollen given the presence of a setting sun in the same sky, though the moon itself will not appear as bright nor as large as the supermoon of August 10 this year.

Harvest moons aren’t nearly as important given the fact that most tractors have headlights these days, but for years gave farmers a perfect opportunity to harvest all night using nothing but the natural light of the moon.

With factory farms dominating the agricultural landscape, the importance of a harvest moon has been lost but remain really nice to have a look at as they just reenforce our insignificance and give us a reason to use our 16 megapixel camera phones.