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Full Harvest Moon Dominates Night Sky Tonight: Watch It Live

2013 Harvest Moon Over Cascade Mountains
Astrophotographer Diane Ottosen contributed a shot of the Harvest Moon over the Cascade Mountains taken on Sept. 18, 2013, from Wenatchee, Washington. (Image credit: Diane Ottosen)

The full Harvest Moon rises tonight (Sept. 8) in a stunning lunar sight for stargazers, but if bad weather clouds out your view, you can still catch the view live online.

Each year, the full moon that rises closest to the September equinox is given the Harvest Moon title. Tonight's full moon happens to have that distinction. The Slooh Community Observatory, an online skywatching organization, will host a live webcast about the Harvest Moon tonight starting at 9:30 p.m. EDT (0130 Sept. 9 GMT) on its website Slooh.com.

You can also watch the Full Harvest Moon webcast live on Space.com, courtesy of Slooh.

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"Whether we call this a super Harvest Moon or a Harvest supermoon, and whether we fuss over the fact that lunar perigee happened just one night before this moon was full, there's no denying that it's the Harvest Moon," Slooh astronomer Bob Berman said in a statement. "This is the year's most famous full moon, and one of only two that even have a name. Yet it's bathed in myth and misconception even without all the extra 'supermoon' business. It will be fun to explore the true secrets of the Harvest Moon while watching it live."

For most of human history, the moon was largely a mystery. It spawned awe and fear and to this day is the source of myth and legend. But today we know a lot about our favorite natural satellite, and we think you should, too.

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The Harvest Moon usually marks the beginning of autumn, however, this year, the special full moon is falling early. This moon qualifies as the last full moon of the summer.

12" Moon Globe. Buy Here (Image credit: Space.com Store)

The moon officially reaches its full phase at 9:38 p.m. EDT (0138 Sept. 9 GMT) tonight.

The full phase of the moon is caused by the alignment of the Earth, moon and sun. When the moon is 180 degrees from the sun in the sky, the visible face of the moon is totally illuminated by the sun.

Editor's Note: If you take an amazing image of the Harvest Moon or any other night sky view that you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

Follow Miriam Kramer @mirikramer and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

Miriam Kramer
Miriam Kramer joined Space.com as a staff writer in December 2012. Since then, she has floated in weightlessness on a zero-gravity flight, felt the pull of 4-Gs in a trainer aircraft and watched rockets soar into space from Florida and Virginia. She also serves as Space.com's lead space entertainment reporter, and enjoys all aspects of space news, astronomy and commercial spaceflight.  Miriam has also presented space stories during live interviews with Fox News and other TV and radio outlets. She originally hails from Knoxville, Tennessee where she and her family would take trips to dark spots on the outskirts of town to watch meteor showers every year. She loves to travel and one day hopes to see the northern lights in person.