The full ‘Corn Moon’ is set to appear visible in skies across the UK this week and it’s a special celestial event that doesn’t happen every year.
Astronomy lovers up and down the country are in for yet another real treat this week as a spectacular full moon is set to be lighting up skies for the next few days.
It isn’t one you’ll want to miss either as you won’t catch a sighting of it every year.
A full moon occurs when the whole side of the moon facing the Earth is lit up by the sun’s rays, and this year, the Corn Moon also happens to be the last full moon of the summer.
Usually this full moon is also known as the Harvest Moon – should it happen to fall near the Autumn Equinox – but in 2020 however, the equinox falls on Tuesday 22nd September, which means the full moon on 1st October will be called the Harvest Moon instead.
NASA explains: “The next full Moon will peak after midnight on Wednesday morning, Sept. 2, 2020, appearing “opposite” the Sun (in Earth-based longitude) at 1:22am EDT.
“The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from Monday evening through Thursday morning.”
Why is it called a Corn Moon though?
Well, according to NASA: “The Maine Farmer’s Almanac first published Native American names for the full Moons in the 1930s [and] over time these names have become widely known and used.
“According to this almanac, as the full Moon in September and the last full Moon of summer, the Algonquin tribes in what is now the northeastern USA called this the Corn Moon, as this was the time for gathering their main staple crops of corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice.
“European names for this full moon are the Fruit Moon, as a number of fruits ripen as the end of summer approaches, and the Barley Moon, from the harvesting and threshing of the barley.”
The full Corn Moon will officially peak at 6.22am on Wednesday morning – when it will position itself directly across from the Sun – but it should be visible all evening.
The best time to catch a glimpse of the moon in the UK is 8.21pm BST.