Tuesday marked a relatively rare phenomenon known as the Super Harvest Moon. What this means is that the full moon falls on or close to the autumn equinox. Well, Tuesday was the autumn equinox as well as the full moon. I was watching it as I drove home from an exhausting visit to a rehabilitation home where an elderly friend of ours is convalescing. It didn’t look any different from other full moons, although I see from various pictures on the internet that I must live on a different planet, because the pictures they posted and what I saw are two completely different things. Same big orb. Maybe a little brighter, but where did all that orange hue come from? I bet it was created by a camera filter!
So what makes this kind of full moon super? The fact that it appears on a day where there are equal amounts of daylight and darkness doesn’t make any difference to the appearance of the moon, although the “authorities” beg to differ. The only people who would probably care about this sort of thing must be witches and warlocks and other assorted occult oriented persons, for whom a Super Harvest Moon (or the Harvestest Moon as it is sometimes called), on one of the major event days in the Wiccan calendar has to mean a big boost with the ceremonies and rituals and such. Unless of course, it’s overcast:)
According to NASA, there’s a special twilight glow produced by the sun setting while the moon is rising, meaning that both are in the sky at the same time. Possibly, this may produce the vision inducing kind of twilight they speak of, but it must occur for only a few fleeting minutes, and I missed it. When I saw the moon, there was no sun. What’s more interesting is that Jupiter is also in the night sky, forming a conjunction with the full moon that promises to be spectacular. Unfortunately for me I couldn’t spot this either. Jupiter is making its closest approach to Earth in years, in fact it will not get this close again for another twenty two years, but it rises in the East, along with the Harvest moon, and while there might be a point at which the two are separated enough to provide a visual spectacle, it probably occurs around midnight, when both Jupiter and the moon are overhead in the Eastern sky. At midnight I was deep in dreamless (or not), sleep. Another strike out in the moon watching department. I wonder whether the Super Harvest Moon makes people crazier than usual. I mean, its common knowledge that some people are affected by the full moon so maybe the super duper one has a super duper effect on them. Must be a field day for werewolves. I have big plans to investigate all this related phenomena at the next Super lunar event but I guess I’ll have to wait another twenty two years for that. Most probably I’ll be in the nursing home I was returning from when I first caught a glimpse of the Super Harvest Moon.