Tonight the normally bright harvest moon goes on steroids. Not only is tonight full moon but it also is the autumnal equinox. According to the Washington Post:
Get ready for a night show. It’s tough to come to grips with the end of summer. Luckily, autumn will enter with a bang this year.
Not only will Northern America witness the beginning of autumn at 11:09 Eastern tonight, there will be a full moon in the sky. Put those two occurrences together and you’ll get the rare “super harvest moon.”
“The two sources of light will mix together to create a kind of 360-degree, summer-autumn twilight glow,” NASA Science writes.
When farmers relied on moonlight to extend harvesting hours, they started calling the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox the harvest moon. If the full moon fell on the first actual day of autumn, it became “super harvest,” or the “harvestest.”
The event has not occurred for 20 years, and probably will not reoccur until 2029.
As an added bonus, Jupiter will appear very close to the moon tonight. NASA’s Tony Phillips writes: “A Super Harvest Moon, a rare twilight glow, a midnight conjunction–rarely does autumn begin with such celestial fanfare.”
Celestial events are always fun. They are more fun when there is a little folk lore to go along with them. We celebrate with our new phases of the moon tracker right under the moonhowlings icon. Thanks Alanna for planting the moon phases for us.
Many, many myths and old wives’s tales are associated with full moon. Science tells us that the tides are affected by the moon, but is that all? Lunar Lore tells us the following:
The Moon and Birth
Female reproductive cycles respond to the lunar cycle.
Medical staff report that women who have already had children are significantly more likely to give birth on the day of the full moon.
Health around the Full Moon
A research team8 at Leeds university found a significant increase in visits to medical practices for consultations after the full moon.
Doctors report an increase in epileptic seizures and bleeding ulcers at the time of the full moon.
I am one of those weird people who is affected by the full moon. I have 2 biological children. In both of their cases, I went into labor on the full moon. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
The Moon and Accidents
Alcohol consumption rises at the start and end of the lunar cycle. More drunk drivers, more crashes and more hangovers occur at this critical time. It’s hard to know if the astrological connection between the Moon and liquids or the Moon and emotions is the root cause.
At the time of the full moon, hospital accident and emergency units see about 10% more patients13. 80% of casualty nurses and 64% of doctors believe the moon adversely affects patient behavior.
Crimes of violence increase at the full moon.
Many religions center around the lunar calendar. Jjudiasm is one such religion. Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Check it out.
So Carpe Nox. Enjoy the light and the night. Happy Howling! This thread is dedicated to Elena who told me Moonhowler hadn’t done enough to celebrate the Super Harvest Moon and to our friend, Charlotte.