Thursday, September 23, 2010

History Lesson Part 2 ~ The Harvest Moon

As promised last night, Mimi dashed to the upper deck a few minutes before 11:09 so I could witness the Autumnal Equinox (beginning of fall) because I knew my little monkeys would be sleeping and I wanted pictures for ya'll . . . even though I saw here that AG wanted her mommy to set the alarm because they had talked about it at school, you all slept right through!

Well, girls, it was a beautiful sight with the moon and Jupiter all lined up; but Mimi's camera didn't do it justice. Even Miss Gigi thought it was very pretty. She told me she was so glad she got to see it and would always remember it . . . Yes, she did!!

Here's what Gigi and I saw . . .

The little squiggly light at the bottom of the picture is Jupiter

Of course, there really weren't rays coming from the moon, it's just Mimi's camera. Here's a cropped version of this picture without the flash but you couldn't see Jupiter even before the crop.

I did a little internet searching and here's 2 more pictures . . .

Skywatcher Daniel Fischer took this photo of the full Harvest moon and Jupiter with a handheld digital camera on Sept. 22, 2010 from Königswinter, Germany. Jupiter, Uranus (too dim to see here) and the moon were lined up in a rare conjunction. Credit: Daniel Fischer Look at the location of Jupiter to the moon in Germany compared to Mimi's photo. Aren't the trees pretty?

Skywatcher Ruth Burkhead of Eustis, Fla., caught this view of the full Harvest moon and Jupiter on Sept. 22, 2010 while photographing the two objects from her backyard. Jupiter, Uranus (too dim to see here) and the moon were lined up in a rare conjunction. Credit: Ruth Burkhead See, the location of Jupiter matches Mimi's photo. Believe her camera might be just a tad better than mine.

Now, let's see if you remember what Mimi told you last night . . (I see 3 hands): "The Autumnal or Fall Equinox is when the sun and the earth are aligned exactly and day and night are the same length." YEAH!! You did remember!

So now on to tonight's lesson ~ The Harvest Moon

"Not since 1991 has a full moon occurred on the same night as the fall equinox, and it won't happen again until 2029," wrote astronomer Tony Phillips in a NASA announcement. According to Phillips, the Harvest Moon typically occurs a few days or weeks before or after the fall equinox. This year, though, the full moon occurs just six hours after the equinox, making it what Phillips called a "Super Harvest Moon."

Every full moon has a different name, one which varies depending on different cultures. The Harvest Moon gets its name from agriculture, explained Phillips.

"In the days before electric lights, farmers depended on bright moonlight to extend the workday beyond sunset," Phillips wrote. "It was the only way they could gather their ripening crops and harvest staple crops such as pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice in time for market."

Mimi was sleeping 6 hours after the fall equinox when the Harvest Moon actually occurred but tonight on my way back home from a little shopping trip, I saw the "Halloween" moon. A big bright orange ball came over the mountain ~ it was so big I could even see the man in the moon. Did Mimi have her camera . . . NO!! I called both houses and cell phones to make sure you girls saw it but no one answered ~ I just left messages. Anyway, I hurried home, dashed in the house, got my trusty little camera, and drove back out until I could see it without street lights. By the time I had done all of that it had started to turn white but there was still enough orange for you to see it in these pictures.

Here it is far away and if you look very, very closely half-way down the picture you can see the outline of trees and to the right is our beautiful mountain.

Here's the same picture cropped ~ see how orange it is . . . and yes, Ailee, that might be a WITCH we see in the moon! The A girls did see the "Halloween" moon and called to ask why it was called that . . . I explained that I only called it that because it was orange and looked like the moon usually looks on Halloween night. Ailee, you were so upset when you ran out to see it. Your response . . . "But where's the witch?" . . . because you had expected to see a witch in the moon after you heard my message. Guess what you want to be for Halloween . . . The Wicked Witch of the West just so you can say "I'll get you, my pretty" in your crackly little voice. Only Ailee ~ never a dull moment!!

Wouldn't you have LOVED to be the one who saw this and took this picture last night--yes, it was REALLY taken last night or maybe early morning, but Mimi got so excited she just saved the picture and not the credits of where it came from . . . hopefully, I won't get in trouble because this is such a wonderful picture I had to share it with my babies!! Looks just like a Halloween Moon doesn't it girls? okay, minus the witch!

Guess what Mimi's thinking now after seeing this picture . . . yes, I need a more powerful camera (I love my camera, Mande, but more power would be great!). . . are you listening, Mr. Greenjeans? If not, maybe Santa Claus is because you know, girls, he REALLY starts listening after the First Day of Fall.

Now you can tell your teachers you saw the Harvest Moon and the Fall Equinox, thanks to your Mimi. And no more "lessons" for a while, I promise!

Good night, girls . . . Mimi's singing you a "sweet" lullaby



  1. Awesome photos, especially of the hawk in the tree!

  2. Oh my goodness...great photos! Congrats to you Mimi!!! You won my little Halloweeen apron. Please email me at: Miss Janice {at} Miss Janice {dot} com with your contact information and I will get the apron out to you!

  3. Just found your blog via Miss Janice!
    Oh my Mimi, you are quite a lady.
    Congratulations on winning the darling Halloween apron! I will be following your darling blog now. The 5 Princesses are adorable!

    Mrs. Kindergarten

  4. Cool pictures. Miss Janice sent me over. I love your header.