Harvest Moon last supermoon of 2023
Union County residents had an opportunity to view the Harvest Moon – and a supermoon – in the night sky late last week.
September’s full moon, known as the Harvest Moon, was also was the fourth successive supermoon of 2023, the space.com website reported. It also was “the final supermoon of the year, thus marking the end of a very supermoon summer,” space.com shared.
The website explained that the “run of four consecutive supermoons began with the Full Buck Moon on July 3. This was followed by two supermoons in August, the Full Sturgeon Moon on Tuesday, Aug. 1, and the Full Blue Moon on Aug. 30.
“The term ‘supermoon’ refers to full moons that happen around the time when the moon is closest to Earth in its orbit, an approach called perigee.
“This happens because the moon’s orbit around Earth is an ellipse rather than a perfect circle, meaning there are times when it falls further away from our planet and times when it comes closer.
“The proximity of the moon during supermoons means the lunar disk can appear around 30 percent brighter and around 14 percent larger as seen from Earth compared to the appearance of the lunar face during ‘regular’ full moons.”
Space.com noted that skywatchers who missed the Harvest Moon “will have to wait a while for the next supermoon, which will also be a Harvest Moon, rising on Sept. 18, 2024. This will be the first of two supermoons next year, with the second occurring a month later on Oct. 17, 2024.”