"Shine on, shine on harvest moon up in the sky!"
Did you know that the beautiful moon display from September 11-13 is known as the 2011 Harvest Moon?
This is not a scheduled post in the September series, but I couldn't let you miss out on an opportunity to see this annual night sky event. The Harvest Moon lasts only a few nights, and is one of my favorite lunar events to behold. It looks HUGE on the horizon -- often orange or reddish in color.
The kids will love it! -- Hey, I still get a kick out of observing it.
How did it get it's name? When does it occur each year? There's a full moon every month, so why is this one significant?
Below is an excerpt from a great post over at EarthSky that gives more detail and fun facts about the Harvest Moon.
"Bottom line: ...The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, which in 2011 comes on September 23. So the full moon of September 11-12 is the 2011 Harvest Moon."
Photo by Ilco / Izmir, Turkey
"September 13 will have a beautiful, bright full-looking moon, too. The Harvest Moon is not really bigger, brighter or yellower than other full moons, but it is special for ushering in the year's grandest procession of moonlit nights. Enjoy."
Here is another article for more fun moon facts to share with your children.
You know... this would make a great letter writing topic for your Compassion children. Include a picture of the Harvest Moon and scripture passages to help the children connect God, the creator and master designer of our beautiful universe with the nature event you write about. Since Compassion US sponsors will be able to upload pictures in the new, on-line letter writing tool to be released Friday, September 16 -- (read more at OurCompassion) I may have to do another backyard astronomy letter for my kids.
When you see the moon rising tonight, I hope you pause to remember the glory of our Creator, the Lord God Almighty, the one who spoke it into existence. (Now that's amazing!)
I have my telescope out and ready, and my binoculars on standby. Where will you observe the Harvest Moon, and who will be your observing companions? If you photograph the 2011 Harvest Moon please leave a comment with a link to your blog or website.
Enjoy the night skies with our Creator!