On the heels of the total eclipse, you just have to know that I’ve been enjoyed the moon this weekend. How about you?
It seems as though the moon looks bigger, brighter and more orange as it begins to make its arc across the night sky from the eastern horizon line. In fact, you’d almost think it’s a Harvest Moon, but it’s not. That took place in October, which was the closest full moon to the autumn equinox that came on September 22.
This month’s moon is actually called a Beaver Moon, and it is almost a super moon because when it reached fullness it was 226,179 miles from Earth. When the moon reaches perigee tonight at 7:11 p.m. it will be slightly closer: 224,587 miles away.
Since it is getting closer to winter, the moon will generally appear higher in the sky than it does in the summer for Northern Hemisphere skywatchers. As midnight approaches, the moon is nearly 60 degrees above the southern horizon, high enough to clear most buildings, even in skyscraper-heavy cities.
Even in dark skies, the moon really stands out. That’s because the backdrop constellations (Cetus, the Whale, and Tauru, the Bull) are faint and almost imperceptible to the naked eye.
Just for the record, each month’s moon was given a different name by Native Americans. Here’s the list:
- January: Wolf Moon, Old Moon.
- February: Snow Moon, Hunger Moon.
- March: Worm Moon, Sap Moon, Crow Moon.
- April: Pink Moon, Grass Moon, Fish Moon.
- May: Flower Moon, Planting Moon.
- June: Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon.
- July: Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Hay Moon.
- August: Sturgeon Moon, Red Moon.
- September: Harvest Moon, Corn Moon.
- October: Hunter’s Moon.
- November: Beaver Moon, Frost Moon.
- December: Cold Moon, Long Night’s Moon.