The Full Harvest Moon reaches fullness at 4:59 AM on Saturday. While clouds may impede our view in Iowa, it’s a moon with some special features.

This full moon is called the Harvest Moon due to it’s occurrence close to the Fall harvest and the Fall Equinox. The timing is perfect with the moonrise happening very soon after sunset and the moon staying in our sky all the way until nearly dusk. The long period of full moon in our sky offers overnight light for farmers who may be out harvesting late into the night, thus the name Harvest Moon.

The early moonrise just after sunset can also lead to what is called a “moon illusion”: a bigger, brighter orange moon just above the eastern horizon. It even appears more orange, for the same reason the sunset and sunrises are orange. Now the moon is not actually bigger and brighter but the low horizon view distorts it’s appearance to make it appear so.

If you take pictures of the Harvest Moon tonight or tomorrow morning, please share those photos with us through our Photolink by clicking here.