Late Wednesday night marks the official start of autumn. And sky watchers will have something spectacular to look forward to as the seasons change.
As the sun sets to the west it brings an end to the summer season, and the moon rising in the east, marks the start of fall. The two sources of light mix together creating a “360-degree, summer-autumn twilight glow,” according to NASA.
The Harvest Moon of 2010 will reach its full illumination only six hours after the equinox, which takes place at 11:09 p.m. EDT. This is why astronomers are calling it a “Super Harvest Moon.” The last time a similar situation occurred was in 1991, when the difference was around 10 hours.
To most gazers, the Harvest Moon will look strangely inflated and the view will continue to improve as the evening progresses.
The Harvest Moon gets its name from a time in agriculture. Before electric lights were created, farmers relied on the moon's glow to continue their work day in the field.
With files from NASA