This week’s events mark the arrival of fall

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KEY POINTS

  • The fall equinox, which marks the first day of fall, is Wednesday
  • This means Monday’s full moon will be this year’s harvest moon.
  • In the southern hemisphere, Wednesday’s equinox marks the start of spring

This week will be the Harvest Moon and the Fall Equinox, marking the start of fall in the Northern Hemisphere.

The moon peak illumination Monday at 7:54 p.m. ET and will continue to appear full until Tuesday morning. This month’s full moon is the Harvest Moon, which traditionally provided abundant light for farmers who harvested the crops they grew in the summer, The Old Farmer’s Almanac Explain.

However, unlike other full moon names, which depend on the month in which they appear, the Harvest Moon actually depends on the full moon closest to the autumn equinox or the day that marks the astronomical start of autumn. This means that the Harvest Moon isn’t always September’s full moon, as it can also be October’s full moon, depending on the calendar.

It typically lands in September, the media noted, and with this year’s fall equinox occurring Wednesday two days later, then that makes Monday’s full moon the harvest moon.

Some of the many other names for the September full moon include the fruit moon, barley moon, and corn moon, NASA Noted. It also corresponds to the moon of the Chuseok festival in Korea and the Imo Meigetsu or the moon of the potato harvest in Japan.

On the evening of the full moon, sky watchers can also spot Venus, which will be the brightest planet visible as the evening star, with the second brightest being Jupiter.

Autumn begins in the northern hemisphere

With the fall equinox in the northern hemisphere, the sun will start to rise later and night will begin to come earlier. In many parts of the northern hemisphere, this also means lower temperatures and the change in leaf colors from bright green to red, yellow and orange.

Contrary to what some might believe, this change in foliage is not due to time, the Old Farmer’s Almanac noted. Instead, this is due to changes in the amount of daylight and photosynthesis.

That said, although the fall equinox marks the first “astronomical” day of fall, meteorologically, the first day of fall was September 1. Additionally, in the southern hemisphere, Wednesday’s equinox actually marks the first day of spring. Their fall equinox this year was actually back on March 20.

A visitor walks past installations of moon balloons in a riverside park in Seoul on September 18, 2020. – The Seoul Seongdong-gu District Office installed a 12-meter-diameter balloon and 20 other balloons smaller ones covered with an image of the lunar surface, pray to overcome the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and deliver messages of hope ahead of the annual Chuseok Full Moon Harvest Festival, an official said. Photo: JUNG YEON-JE / AFP via Getty Images


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