Watching the Skies: Harvest Moon

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The first of two full moons in October will take place this week.

The full Harvest Moon will happen Oct. 1 at 5:05 p.m. The Harvest Moon is the name given to the full moon that happens closest to the autumnal equinox.

This will be the first full moon of fall and the first of two full moons in October. The second will take place on Oct. 31.

Cloud cover looks fairly extensive this week, so viewing may be a bit limited. Still, you can look to the east around sunset and to the west around sunrise and try your luck.

Mars will be impressive to view through the entire month of October. In fact, it won’t be as bright as this month again until September 2035. This is due to the proximity of Mars to Earth. On Oct. 6, the planet will be unusually close to Earth — and when we say “close,” we mean it will be a mere 38 million miles away.

Mars and the moon will pair up on Oct. 2. Again, cloud cover will make viewing difficult. The two will rise in the east when it begins to get dark and move to the west together overnight.

Once the clouds have cleared out, there will still be plenty of time to view Mars this month. Look to the east at evening and west before sunrise to view the red planet.

Last week featured the moon, Jupiter and Saturn together in the night sky. Sam Tuene captured this picture of the trio: