Mark east, west with the sun, moon

Sunday September 30, 2012

Special to The Eagle

Saturday’s Harvest Moon seems to reappear in all its roundness tonight. It is not quite a day past full, having reached full phase at 11:19 p.m. E.D.T. last night.

Also like a full moon, it rises as the sun sets. Look to the eastern horizon at 6:37 tonight for moonrise and to the west at 6:38 for sunset. (These times are for horizon views. Allowing for hills or buildings, the moon may appear later and sun disappear earlier at your location.)

Sun and moon trade places tomorrow morning: The sun climbs over the horizon nearly due east at 6:50 a.m. as the moon approaches the western horizon where it will set at 8:21 a.m. Whether bringing in crops or making other preparations before the frost, count on this equinox-time moon to extend the shorter day by reflecting sunlight all night.

Close to the equinox, the moon rises about half and hour later each successive evening, different from the usual more-or-less 50 minutes. For a few days, the waning (diminishing in size) moon continues to light our way most of the night and adds beauty to the morning hours.

For example, the moon rises on Wednesday at 8:17 p.m. and sets Thursday morning at 11:14.

As the week progresses, the waning gibbous (larger than half) moon will rise in the east smaller and later at night and travel the sky until early afternoon.

Next week, as a waning crescent, it will travel the sky, leading the sun, most of the day.

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