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Hunter's Moon rising in 2014. Photo by Abhinav Singhai.

2016 has a super Hunter’s Moon

The Northern Hemisphere’s full Hunter’s Moon for 2016 falls the nights of October 15 and 16. Will it be bigger, brighter, more colorful?

Depiction of minor lunar standstill outside the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, DC. They represent markings found in New Mexico's Chaco Canyon. Image via Flickr user Catface3.

Minor lunar standstill and Hunter’s Moon

The moon’s appearance in our sky follows a cycle. The cycle of minor lunar standstills diminishes some Hunter’s Moon characteristics in 2016.

Giacobini-Zinner, parent comet of Draconids, via NASA

All you need to know: Draconids in 2016

The Draconids are best seen in the evening hours. In 2016, a wide waxing crescent moon will somewhat interfere, but still … give it a try!

Image Credit: Esparta

All you need to know: September equinox

2016’s September equinox arrives on the 22nd. Happy autumn (or spring)!

January 1, 2015 sunset by Helio de Carvalho Vital.  Shot 3 of 6.

Day and night exactly equal at equinoxes?

On the day of the equinox, the center of the sun would set about 12 hours after rising – given a level horizon, as at sea, and no atmospheric refraction.

Moon Sept. 18, 2013 by Amy Simpson-Wynne

2016’s close and large Harvest Moon

This year’s Harvest Moon on September 16 happens to be an especially close and large full moon. Some will call it a supermoon. Notice that it’s very bright!

2013-sept-16-virgo-leo-sun-night-sky-chart-cp

Sun enters Virgo on September 16

The sun will stay in front of the constellation Virgo until it passes in front of the constellation Libra on October 30.

The last eclipse of the Moon visible from the USA occurred on the night of Sept. 27/28, 2015. It was a total eclipse as the Moon passed completely inside Earth’s dark umbral shadow. ©2015 by Fred Espenak.

Supermoons and the Saros cycle

Here’s one you might not know … the intriguing relationship between supermoons and the famous 18-year Saros cycle of eclipses.

moon-halo-8-27-28-2015-james-younger-vancouver-island-cp

Minor lunar standstill and Harvest Moon

A phenomenon known as a “minor lunar standstill” will cause a shift in characteristic moonrise times on the nights around this year’s Harvest Moon.

The zodiacal light is a diffuse cone-shaped light extending up from the horizon on the right side of this photo. Photo by Richard Hasbrouck in Truchas, New Mexico.

Watch for zodiacal light or false dawn

The zodiacal light is an eerie light extending up from the horizon. No matter where you are on Earth, springtime or autumn is the best time to see it.