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Harvest Moon Shines On Saturday

Update Date: Sep 28, 2012 11:06 AM EDT

"Shine On, Harvest Moon" is the name of a popular early-1900s song credited to the married vaudeville team Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth. The song was created during the era of Tin Pan Alley songs and was performed in the Ziegfeld Follies. It became a pop standard, and continues to be performed and recorded into the 21st century. But, the Harvest Moon is an actual phase of the full moon when it appears at its brightest.

The moon officially turns full when it reaches that spot in the sky exactly opposite the sun, and this moment will occur Saturday (Sept. 29) at 11:19 p.m. EDT (0319 GMT Sunday). The full moon at this time got its name from farmers working late into the evening to gather their crop.

The Harvest Moon allows farmers at the peak of the current harvest season to stay in the fields longer than usual, working by moonlight. It rises around sunset, but also - and more importantly - the moon seems to appear at nearly the same time each successive night.

For example, in New York City, moonrise on Sep. 29 occurs at 6:11 p.m local time. On Sep. 30, moonrise is at 6:41 p.m. and on Oct. 1, it comes at 7:12 p.m. These 30-minute gaps are far shorter than the usual 50-minute difference in moonrise times from night to night.

The reason for this circumstance is that the moon appears to move along path the sun appears to take through the sky as a result of the Earth's revolution around it, this movement is called the ecliptic, and at this time of year when rising, the ecliptic makes its smallest angle with respect to the horizon for those living in the Northern Hemisphere.

So if you live in an area of the country where you can see the night time sky clearly, get ready for a special full moon event, and if you are a Lycan, you can expect your transformations around the same time each night of this full moon.

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