Photo: Courtesy NASA
There are lot of moons out there. We're not even taking about Phobos, Deimos, Io, and the nine moons of Jupiter. We just mean our very own Earth satellite, which can't ever make up its fool mind about what it looks like on a given day. Sometimes it's full, and sometimes half or crescent. Sometimes it has a rabbit in it, or a man, or an alien colony hiding on its dark side. And sometimes the moon plain sucks. We're thinking here about the harvest moon, which arrives this week in the northern hemisphere. This is one lousy moon.
We hear our haters out there. You praise this moon just because farmers used to work under its light before we developed a little thing called "coal power." You think some haughty piece of outer-space rock going orange is just the cat's pajamas. But guess what? Cats look ridiculous in pajamas. And there are so many better moons out there! Following the harvest moon, which arrives before the autumnal equinox like an overeager jerk, is the hunter's moon. It's also known as the Blood Moon, and it's a total boss.
But, no matter if you want to strap on some crystals and recite dead languages in praise of this silly pumpkin of a lunar goddess, or join us in mocking the stupid moon as it we all rightly should, here's how to catch it north of the equator:
The harvest moon will appear larger than normal, thanks not to its outsized estimation of itself but because of an optical illusion caused by the atmosphere. Since it'll rise around the same time as sunset, it'll go all Orange Is the New Black on us and take on that burnt sienna sheen. On the East Coast, it'll rise tonight around 6:30 p.m., and reach its fullest stage a little after 7 a.m. on Thursday.