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Shine On, Harvest Moon
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Shine On, Harvest Moon

Credit: Andre de Takacs
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shine-On-Harvest-Moon-1908.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

When the song “Shine on, Harvest Moon” was first popular in the early-1900s, most people in the United States till lived on farms. Rather than being a supporter of romance, the harvest moon was most appreciated for assisting with the fall harvest.

Why It Matters

Credit: NASA
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/9829209736/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

A harvest moon in a modern setting, over Washington D.C. [Figure2]

  • If you see a large, reddish moon hanging low in the sky, think about when the autumnal equinox is. You may be looking at a harvest moon.
  • Most people in the developed world no longer live on farms and many harvests are done by machines. Although they may no longer be useful, harvest moons can be spectacular to see.

Show What You Know

With the link below, learn more about the harvest moon. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What is the Harvest Moon? About what date will it be?
  2. If the moon rises on March 1 at 6 pm in your location, at what time will it rise on March 2? If the moon rises on September 21 at 6 pm, at what time will it rise on September 22?
  3. Why is the length of time between moonrises different around the autumnal equinox than it is the rest of the year?
  4. Why is the Harvest Moon so large and red?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Andre de Takacs; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shine-On-Harvest-Moon-1908.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: NASA; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/9829209736/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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