What is it?
The harvest moon is the name given to the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox (the equinox is on September 23, 2019). This year, the harvest moon will appear on September 13, aka Friday the 13th (spooky, right?!). To check it out, you'll need to stay awake a bit past your bedtime (at least for us) since the harvest moon will reach its peak at 12:33 a.m. ET on September 14, and just after sunset for everyone on the West Coast.
Not only is the harvest moon reminiscent of a giant pumpkin (it's bigger, fuller and more orange-looking than other moons), it rises a bit earlier (only 30 minutes past sunset instead of the typical 50 for this time of year), meaning you'll get some great moon in the sky shots for the few days following its appearance.
Why's it called a 'harvest' moon?
The fall moon used to serve as a reminder for farmers to harvest their summer crops, and since it rose earlier in the evening than other full moons, it helped them see more at nighttime, according to the Farmer's Almanac.
Why is this one so special?
Not only is the harvest moon getting us ready for PSL season, it's also on Friday the 13th. The next full moon to occur on Friday the 13th won't be until August 2049, meaning you'll have to wait 30 years for another spooky lunar occurrence.