Skip to main content

Shine on

Be sure to look up when you go outside tonight! Tonight’s full moon is called the Harvest Moon because its bright light arriving just after sunset enabled farmers to work late into the night when harvesting their crops.

The Harvest Moon is the full moon that happens near the first day of fall (Sept 23).

During the fall the day-to-day time lapse in the rising of the moon changes dramatically for those in the far northern or southern latitudes. For those of us in the northern latitudes the time goes down from (on average) 50 minutes to 30 minutes. Great news for the farmers of old – since the harvest moon rises just after sunset and since the time lapse is extra short, they got a set of bright evenings to work through. Lucky them.

You can read more about what to look for in the sky tonight in the NSAS story Strange Moonlight . Or, if you don’t already have plans for tonight, check out a harvest moon festival near you and eat a mooncake .

For now, I leave you with this tune...

Shine On Harvest Moon (By Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth – 1903)
Shine on, shine on harvest moon
Up in the sky,
I ain't had no lovin'
Since January, February, June or July
Snow time ain't no time to stay
Outdoors and spoon,
So shine on, shine on harvest moon,
For me and my gal.


Popular Posts

How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever

What happens when several thousand distinguished physicists, researchers, and students descend on the nation’s gambling capital for a conference? The answer is "a bad week for the casino"—but you'd never guess why.

Ask a Physicist: Phone Flash Sharpie Shock!

Lexie and Xavier, from Orlando, FL want to know: "What's going on in this video ? Our science teacher claims that the pain comes from a small electrical shock, but we believe that this is due to the absorption of light. Please help us resolve this dispute!"

The Science of Ice Cream: Part One

Even though it's been a warm couple of months already, it's officially summer. A delicious, science-filled way to beat the heat? Making homemade ice cream. (We've since updated this article to include the science behind vegan ice cream. To learn more about ice cream science, check out The Science of Ice Cream, Redux ) Image Credit: St0rmz via Flickr Over at Physics@Home there's an easy recipe for homemade ice cream. But what kind of milk should you use to make ice cream? And do you really need to chill the ice cream base before making it? Why do ice cream recipes always call for salt on ice?