Harvest Moon 2017 Shines Tonight Amid Planetary Show

 October’s full Harvest Moon will gleam all night tonight (Oct. 5) while flitting by — or entirely covering — Neptune in some tools of a world. In a predawn hours, you’ll get another astronomical uncover with Mars and Venus tighten together in a eastern sky.


The moon reaches a full proviso during 2:40 p.m. EDT (1840 GMT), though infrequent observers will see tiny disproportion after tonight. In North America, the Harvest Moon  refers to a initial full moon after a autumnal equinox, that took place on Sept. 22. The name of a moon, however, might vary, depending on that culture’s novel we consult.

Harvest moons are singular in October, and they are set to start customarily 18 times between 1970 and 2050; customarily a full moon occurs most closer to a autumnal equinox, that would make a Harvest Moon tumble in late September. [The Moon: 10 Surprising Facts]

Full moons start when a moon is on a conflicting side of Earth to a sun. If a 3 bodies line adult exactly, an problematic can start that turns a moon dim red or brown. Normally, however, a full moon is entirely splendid by sunlight, providing an glorious perspective of some of a facilities on a surface.

The moon’s confront with Neptune is best seen from New Zealand, Tasmania and a area easterly of Melbourne, Australia, when a moon passes in front of a world in Earth’s sky. (This is also called an occultation.) In Christchurch, New Zealand, a occultation starts during 1:26 a.m. internal time on Oct. 4 and ends during 2:39 a.m. In East Sale, Australia, a occultation starts during 11:18 p.m. and ends during 11:46 p.m. Observers in Hobart, Tasmania, will see a occultation start during 10:58 p.m. and finish during 11:55 p.m. [2017 Full Moon Calendar]

Observers on a East Coast of North America won’t see a uncover during all, though on a West Coast, a moon passes by Neptune usually before 4 a.m. PDT, somewhat before moonset. You will need a clever span of binoculars or a tiny telescope to see a planet, that is intensely gloomy during bulk 7.8.

Even if we can’t see Neptune, there are some-more planets to check out in a predawn hours. Look during a predawn sky, to a east, to see red Mars and white-yellow Venus shining nearby a constellations Leo and Virgo, tighten to a horizon.

While a liughtness of a full moon blots out fainter stars and objects in a sky, it offers a good event to do some observations on a surface.

Some things we can demeanour for embody light regions (rock layers that floated to a moon’s aspect when a moon had magma oceans), dim regions or maria (which were shaped when lava cooled during a bottom of craters) and a splendid void Tycho during a bottom-left dilemma of a moon. With a telescope or binoculars, we can also try some of a facilities on a moon that were mapped in high fortitude by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

While a whole nearby side of a moon is manifest during a full moon, some observers cite looking during facilities when customarily a partial of it is illuminated. This is since the light reflecting off a aspect can problematic some of a features. Instead, gifted observers mostly cite nights when partial of a moon is in shadow. Along a terminator (the day-night line), shadows on ridges and craters make facilities cocktail out.

Editor’s Note: If we snap an extraordinary design of a 2017 Harvest Moon and wish to share it with Space.com and the news partners for a story or gallery, send photos, comments and watching plcae sum to: spacephotos@space.com.

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