You Can Watch the Corn Moon Rising in the Sky Tonight

published Sep 1, 2020
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Credit: Shutterstock/Chockdee Permploysiri

As today is the first day of September, you might be surprised by the sudden realization that summer in the Northern Hemisphere is almost over (I know I am). But the seasonal festivities aren’t done just yet, and tonight you can catch the last full moon of summer 2020.

The third and final full moon of the season will rise in the sky this evening (or, technically, tomorrow morning). While the Harvest Moon—the full moon closet to the autumnal equinox—usually occurs in the month of September, every three years it falls into October. And since that odd year happens to be 2020, instead of Sept.’s full moon being the Harvest Moon, it is called the Corn Moon.

So why the vegetable-inspired name, you ask? Well, in ancient times, the months were named after an element—often a fruit or vegetable—that was associated with the Northern Hemisphere seasons. So as corn is a crop that is harvested early on in the fall, September’s Corn Moon name makes a lot of sense.

Although Corn Moon seems to be the most widely used name for this month’s full moon, it has also been called Fruit Moon and Barley Moon, both of which are also used to describe August’s full moon. So to avoid overlap, we’re going with Corn Moon.

The moon will turn precisely full at 1:22 a.m. EDT., which changes depending on your geographic location. However, there will be plenty of time to see the full moon before and after that moment, so feel free to get cozy, grab your favorite snacks, and enjoy the show.