Full Moon 2020: NASA welcomes the next Full Moon – September’s Corn Moon

The ninth Full Moon of the year is traditionally called the Corn Moon, although some parts of the world know it as the Barley Moon. In China, it corresponds to the Hungry Ghost Festival and sometimes bears that name as well. Here in the UK, the Moon will not peak until later this week.

The peak falls early on Wednesday morning, September 2, when the Moon will position itself directly across from the Sun.

And although the peak itself will last a brief moment, the Moon will appear full to the naked eye for three days around this time.

According to NASA, the Moon will reach full illumination at about 6.22am BST (1.22am EDT, 10.22pm PDT) on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, the peak will unfold about 20 minutes after the Moon sets for the day.

You will have to wait until about 8.21pm BST, when viewed from London, to catch a glimpse of the Moon.

NASA’s lunar expert Gordon Johnston said: “The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from Monday evening through Thursday morning.”

According to Native American time-keeping traditions, the Corn Moon corresponds with the corn, pumpkin, beans and squash harvest.

Mr Johnston said: “The Maine Farmer’s Almanac first published Native American names for the Full Moons in the 1930s.

The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time

Gordon Johnston, NASA

“Over time these names have become widely known and used.”

This year, the Corn Moon also happens to be the last Full Moon of the summer.

Sometimes, this Full Moon is also known as the Harvest Moon if it happens to fall near the Autumn Equinox.

This year, however, the equinox falls on Tuesday, September 22, meaning a Full Moon on October 1 will be called the Harvest Moon.

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Mr Johnston said: “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.

“This Full Moon corresponds to the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival.

“The seventh month of the Chinese calendar is the Ghost Month and the fifteenth day of this month – a Full Moon day – is called Ghost Day, on which ghosts and spirits, including those of deceased ancestors, come out to visit the living.”

In Kerala, India, the Full Moon marks the last of Onam.

The 10-day celebration, which began on August 22, is a harvest festival.

Mr Johnston said: “For some Buddhists in Bangladesh and Thailand, this Full Moon is Modhu Purnima, the Honey Full Moon or the Honey-offering Festival.

“This festival is tied to a legend that an elephant and a monkey fed the Buddha when he was in the forest to bring peace between two factions, with the elephant offering fruit and the monkey offering a honeycomb.”

This Full Moon has also been named the OSIRIS-REx Moon in honour of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission.

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