Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
Jan Harris
Assistant Editor
2:58 AM 1st September 2020

Why Not A Harvest Moon In September?

Moon rising over corn field - photo by Kevin
Moon rising over corn field - photo by Kevin
The name for the September full moon is Corn moon because at this time of year harvesting of the corn and barley would take place by the light of the full moon.

It will peak in the sky on Wednesday, 2 September but will be visible in the night sky for a couple of days around this time.

Corn ready for harvesting
Corn ready for harvesting
Most years the September full moon is the Harvest moon but every three years it is in the month of October and 2020 is one of those years.

As September’s full moon is at the beginning of the month and is the last full moon of the summer, the October full moon takes on the name of Harvest moon as it falls nearest to the autumnal equinox (22 or 23 September).

The month of October in 2020 will actually have two full moons, the Harvest moon on the 1 October and a Blue moon on the 31 October.

Every month of the year there is a full moon which illuminates the sky, each of which is given a different name.

A full moon occurs when the moon's earth-facing side is completely illuminated by the sun. Scientists say that when you see the moon looking really large as it rises in the sky your brain is actually playing a trick on you.

There are many reasons as to why this is, but the main theory is that when the moon is low on the horizon it can be compared to earthly things, like buildings and trees, and this is why it seems huge.

Traditional Full Moon Names 2020

January 10 - Wolf Moon
photo by Rob Harris
photo by Rob Harris
February 9 - Snow Moon
March 9 - Worm Moon
April 7 - Pink Moon
May 7 - Flower Moon
June 5 - Strawberry Moon
July 5 - Buck Moon
August 3 - Sturgeon Moon
September 2 - Corn Moon
October 1 - Harvest Moon
October 31 - Blue Moon
November 30 - Beaver Moon
December 29 - Cold Moon

There are a total of 12 full moon phases during the annual lunar cycle plus the occasional Blue Moon and each full moon has a unique name.

The names given to the full moons during the year are derived from the North American traditions. Many of these ancient moon names have been given based on the behaviour of the plants, animals, or weather during that month.

However the full moon names we now use also have Anglo-Saxon and Germanic roots.

The next full moon will rise on 1 October and is the Harvest Moon.