The autumn sky has much beauty to behold throughout the season.

All through the month of October, the Orionid Meteor Shower will light up the night sky. This peaks from October 20 to 21. Additionally, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Milky Way’s next-door spiral galaxy neighbor, is most visible during this month. Kicking off all of these spectacular astral sights is a Harvest Moon tonight.

Look up tonight to catch a glimpse of this rare cosmological event.

A Harvest Moon is a full moon that occurs closest to the September equinox, which occurs each year around September 22. The equinox transpires when the moon is positioned 180 degrees in celestial longitude from the sun. Tonight the Northern Hemisphere will marvel at this beauty in the night sky.

Years ago, the annual occurrence of this lunar phenomenon was critical to farmers’ livelihood. Before the advanced technology of today, of course, there was no such thing as headlights for tractors. The “Harvest Moon” allowed extra natural light from the moon illuminated farmer’s fields during their night work. Because of this, on the whole, farmers were allotted additional time to bring in the harvest before it was too late.

Nowadays, the beauty of the Harvest Moon is less critical to our wellbeing, and more of a delight for all to enjoy. To add to the delight of the Harvest Moon, it rises earlier than usual, too. This kind of moon is rare, between 1970 and 2050, a Harvest Moon will only occur only 18 times. If you missed this sight tonight, the next one will be in 2020.

Nothing beats the beauty of nature. The universe is a mind-blowing canvas of billions of stars and galaxies. Meteors and Harvest Moons offer a tangible taste of this vast mystery. Be sure to glance towards the evening sky this month and enjoy these spectacular extraterrestrial wonders.

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