September 25, 2010
Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere! That delicious season of brilliant foliage and bright air; days as sweet and crisp as the apples ripening on the trees. September 23rd was the autumnal equinox. No one heralded it better than the Astronomy Picture of the Day folks, who posted the moving and evocative photo below.
Astronomy Picture of the Day, sponsored by NASA, posts a different image each day — from the vastness of deep space to our ever-more-familiar solar system siblings, to powerful climatic and atmospheric phenomena here on Earth. Astronomers annotate each image with brief well-written explanations.
Works great as a home page! From the site:
Equinox and the Harvest Moon Image Credit & Copyright: Tamás Ábrahám
Explanation: Did you enjoy the moonlight last night? The Full Moon closest to autumnal equinox and the beginning of Fall is traditionally known as the Harvest Moon, rising opposite the Sun and illuminating fields at harvest time after sunset. This year's northern hemisphere autumnal equinox occurred yesterday, September 23rd, at 03:09 Universal Time. The Moon was at its full phase a mere 6 hours later -- exceptionally close for a Harvest Moon! Of course, the Moon still shines brightly through the night in surrounding days. In this picture from September 22nd, the lunar orb dominates the sky above a ruined church in Zsámbék, Hungary. Shining nearby, the brightest star is actually Jupiter, also opposite the Sun, seen here through thin clouds just left of the church wall.
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