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This week's harvest moon will be the last supermoon of the year

People watch a supermoon rise above Lisbon, Portugal, on Aug. 30.
Armando Franca
People watch a supermoon rise above Lisbon, Portugal, on Aug. 30.

There's a full moon risin'.

Starting Thursday evening, a brilliant supermoon will be visible in the sky.

Supermoons occur when a full moon reaches perigee, or the nearest point to Earth on its elliptical orbit around our planet.

They can appear as much as 14% larger and 30% brighter than the faintest moon of the year, according to NASA.

The moon will begin to appear full Thursday evening, and reach the peak of its full phase around 6 a.m. ET Friday.

Since it's occurring close to this year's autumnal equinox on Sept. 23, it's also known as a harvest moon. That's because historically farmers harvesting their summer-grown crops were helped by the bright moonlight shining shortly after sunset, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac.

Harvest moons typically take place in September, though they can also happen in October depending on the lunar calendar.

This week will be your last chance to see a supermoon this year, Space.com reported.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Hernandez
[Copyright 2024 NPR]