Friday, September 17, 2011— (In three days, the full moon, “Harvest”, will rise nearest to earth.)
Yesterday evening, this eye-catcher above my Oregon ranch is the nearly-full Harvest Moon. Now, it’s three-quarters full, and technically, it’s in a waxing gibbous stage.
A little research helps us understand the variations in moon appearances. Waxing means a moon is receiving more sunlight and appearing fuller each passing day. Gibbous refers to a moon that appears lighted but is less than full. (What’s “Gibbous”? It refers to convexity or swelling, comes from a root word meaning “humped-back”.)
On the 20th, our September moon will be at the point nearest Earth to appear at its fullest. Beginning the very next day, it’ll become a waning moon. That’s because, immediately after a full moon appears nearest to the Earth, waning begins. The waning continues until a next new moon appears, and its changing positions relative to sun and light restart the waxing.
After all that, here’s a closer-up of last night’s huggable waxing three-quarters beauty.
Dear Friends: The solar system awes with unending provisions of motion, beauty, information. Diana