When Is The September 2016 Full Moon? Your Weekend Plans Just Got A Whole Lot More Lunar

The last full moon of the summer is fast approaching, so put aside some time in your calendar for some evening strolls in the next few days. The September 2016 full moon will rise tomorrow, Friday, September 16, and peak at 3:05 pm ET. This moon is known as the “harvest moon” because it is the full moon closest to the autumn equinox, the official start of fall, which lands this year on September 22. According to the Farmers' Almanac, Native Americans gave the harvest moon its name because it coincides with the time of the corn harvest, and the bright light of the full moon allowed farmers to work through the night.

This year’s harvest moon won’t be as spectacular as last year’s blood supermoon, but it will still be worth seeing. Deborah Byrd at EarthSky reports that the moon will be slightly larger than usual, and, if you gaze at it near the horizon line, it will take on an orange hue. If you miss it or have cloudy skies on Friday, don’t worry: The moon will look almost or equally as full tonight and on Saturday.

The 2016 harvest moon is also remarkable because will occur during a penumbral eclipse — the last lunar eclipse involving a harvest moon until 2024, according to National Geographic .


A penumbral eclipse is different from the lunar eclipse you may be used to. A total eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the darkest part of the shadow of the Earth, creating a vivid orange/red effect. The penumbral eclipse will be more subtle; it occurs when the moon passes through only the outer edges of the Earth’s shadow, casting a slight shadow on the moon. Unfortunately for those of us in North America, the eclipse will only be visible in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Nevertheless, the harvest moon will be large and beautiful, especially if you’re looking at it on a clear night.

Finally, it is physically impossible for me to write about a harvest moon without putting this here: