Rare Super Harvest Moon Tonight

Autumnal-equinox-2010-harvest-moon_26347_600x450 The equinox officially arrives tonight, marking the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, and spring in the Southern Hemisphere. The full moon will also peak Wednesday night-Thursday morning, making for an extremely bright "super harvest moon." When the summer ends at 11:09 pm Eastern Time, Jupiter will appear right next to the Moon.

For the first time in almost two decades, the Northern Hemisphere's autumn is beginning on the night of a full Moon. As the sun sets (7:17 p.m.), bringing summer to a close, the full Moon will rise (6:43 p.m.), heralding the start of fall. The two sources of light will mix together and should create a kind of 360-degree, summer-autumn twilight glow that is only seen on rare occasions. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, today is the autumnal equinox and a Super Harvest Moon will cross the sky after almost 20 years since the last time it happened. When the Sun starts to set on the Western horizon, a full moon will rise opposite to it on the East, reflecting the light of our home star.

Being close to the horizon, the orange Moon will be gigantic thanks to a psychological effect called the Moon illusion. The sky will be illuminated by the Sun and the Moon at the same time, creating a weird 360-degree effect that is rarely seen.

All you'll need is a clear view to both East and West. In NYC, the event will happen at 6:54pm.

The full moon shines behind Michigan's Ludington Lighthouse in October 2001. Image credit: National Geographic via Jeff Kiessel, Ludington Daily News/AP 

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