Harvest Moon Appeared Last Night, Along With Other Signs That Fall Is Almost Here

If you took a moment to look up at the sky Wednesday night you probably saw something pretty cool, as the Harvest Moon appeared in the sky.

The autumnal equinox, aka the transition to autumn, is set for September 22. And the "Harvest Moon", is the is the full moon which occurs right before the equinox happens. On Wednesday night the Harvest Moon for 2013 made an appearance, appearing shortly after sunset and then receding around 7:13 a.m. Thursday morning.

But don't worry if you missed it — most people in North America will have a second chance at taking a peak at the annual occurrence on Thursday night, when the moon turns full for those in Asia.

So why is it called a Harvest Moon, again? The annual celestial occurrence gets its name because its extra light allowed farmers to harvest their crops for a few extra hours, according to the Farmer's Almanac.

If you're trying to sneak in a last minute viewing, the moon is the most full during the overnight hours when the sun is the farthest away. During the fall, an awesome huge moon isn't the only cool thing happening in the sky: the second brightest object is the planet Venus, and if you have a pair of binoculars handy, you can also see Saturn.

Here's what it looks like:

We want to go to there. If you want to learn more about the cycle of full moons, check out this video:

ScienceAtNASA on YouTube

image credit: IWITNESS/CODKLA