Harvest Moon 2016

 photo harvest-moon-oil-painting-2-e147169.jpg The end of summer is nearing and the last full moon of the season will rise tonight at 7:10 PM EDT. The full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox is called the Harvest Moon. This year the equinox falls on September 22 at 10:21 AM EDT. This is one of the brightest moons which provides more light for farmers harvesting their crops. The full moon will peak at 3:05 PM EDT, but will appear full to casual skywatchers a day before and after the actual full moon date.

This full moon is also unique since there will be a lunar eclipse for the second year in a row. It will be more subtle that last year and harder to spot. It also won’t be visible in North America.

Because the sun is a large disk rather than a single point of light, our planet’s shadow also has a lighter outer cone, or prenumbra, that can also envelop the moon. When this penumbral eclipse happens, it creates a subtle shading of the lunar disk.

The best views of this week’s harvest eclipse should be across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the western Pacific basin. The deepest and darkest phase of the eclipse will come at 2:54 p.m. ET (18:54 GMT). For detailed charts and times in your location, visit EclipseWise.com.

Because the darkening will be so slight, the best bet for viewers will be to use binoculars or telescopes to catch the creep of Earth’s shadow as it blankets the moon’s usual glare. Expect to see the darkening effect start over the northern portion of the moon’s limb and envelope about 91 percent of its disk during its maximum phase.

This will be last Harvest Moon eclipse until 2024. You can watch the eclipse at Slooh.