On Monday there will be a full harvest moon. Hopefully the sky will be clear so the moon can be seen in all its glory.
Ordinarily, the moon rises fifty minutes later each day, but around the time of the autumnal equinox, which this year occurs September twenty second, the moon comes up only thirty, not fifty minutes later than the day before.
On Monday moonrise will occur at six forty eight in the evening, five minutes before the setting of the sun. So the gatherers of pumpkins and other crops of autumn will be doing their work by the light of the moon. Hence the name harvest moon.
As for the orange color for which it is renowned, it occurs because the harvest moon travels at a lower angle across the horizon and is being seen through denser atmosphere.
But all scientific jargon aside, the harvest moon is an inspirational sight to behold. Back at the start of the 20th century, composer Jack Norworth surely thought so when he penned with his wife Nora Bayes, “Shine on, shine on, harvest moon, up in the sky . . . for me and my gal!”