Moon Phases

September full moon 2024 is a super Harvest Moon

Orangish full Harvest Moon against dark sky.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Elmarie van Rooyen of Smoky Lake Alberta, Canada, captured this image of the Harvest Moon on September 10, 2022. Thank you, Elmarie!

When and where to look in 2024: As seen from around the globe, look for the bright, round full supermoon rising in the east at sunset on September 17-18. It’ll glow highest in the sky near midnight, and drop low in the west before sunrise on September 18. This is the full moon closest to the equinox and so we call it a Harvest Moon.
Crest of the full moon falls at 2:34 UTC on September 18, 2024 (10:34 p.m. CDT on September 17).
Partial lunar eclipse: People in the Americas, parts of Antarctica, western Indian Ocean, Middle East, Africa, Europe, Atlantic Ocean, and eastern Polynesia will see a shallow partial lunar eclipse overnight on September 17-18, 2024.

The 2024 super Harvest Moon will lie near golden Saturn will rise before the full moon and travel ahead of it in the sky through the night. Check for a precise view from your location.

Harvest Moon isn’t just a name. It denotes a time of year when the full moon – as seen from the Northern Hemisphere – has special characteristics. Find out more about the Harvest Moon below, or check out our video.

Harvest Moon is special

We in the Northern Hemisphere have long called the full moon closest to the September equinox by the name Harvest Moon. That name – Harvest Moon – might be the best known full moon name of the year. This year, the September equinox occurs at 12:44 UTC (7:44 a.m. CDT) on September 22, 2024. The full moon falls about five days earlier.

What’s special about a Harvest Moon? As seen across Earth, the moon on average rises about 50 minutes later each day, as it orbits Earth. But in mid-to-late September – for mid-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere – that moonrise time drops to 20 minutes later each day around the time of full moon. The higher the latitude, the shorter the interval between successive moonrises.

September full moon and the ecliptic

Why? It’s because the ecliptic – or path of the sun, moon and planets across our sky – makes a narrow angle with the eastern horizon near sunset, around the time of the autumn equinox. For Northern Hemisphere observers, that means September or October. For Southern Hemisphere observers, it means March or April. The narrow angle of the ecliptic to the evening horizon – around the time of the autumn equinox – gives us the short interval between successive moonrises and the Harvest Moon.

Click here for a printable calendar showing the time of moonrise for your location

And a short interval between successive moonrises means that – for several evenings in a row, around the time of this September full moon – you’ll find a full or nearly full-looking moon low in the east in evening twilight. Before the days of electric lights, the early evening light of this full moon let farmers working in the fields have more time to work, before darkness settled. Hence, the name Harvest Moon.

And, by the way, for the Southern Hemisphere at this full moon, there’s a particularly long interval between successive moonrises!

It’s also a supermoon

Yes, the September full moon is another supermoon. As you might recall, the last full moon was a supermoon as well. In fact, the September Harvest Moon is the second of four supermoons in a row for 2024.

How close is it? The moon will be 222,131 miles (357,486 kilometers) away. Comparatively, the average distance between Earth and the moon is 238,900 miles (384,472 km). So – while the September 17-18 full moon might not look bigger to the eye – it’ll surely look brighter than an average full moon.

And of course since it’s closer than usual it’ll also be pulling harder, via gravity, on Earth’s oceans. People who live near an ocean might notice particularly high tides in the day or so after this full moon.

September full moon lies in Pisces

The September Harvest full moon always lies in front of one of three constellations of the zodiac. Most years, it lies in Pisces the Fish, as it does this year. About every three years, though, it’ll lie in Aquarius the Water Bearer, as it did last year. Very infrequently – once about every 20 years – it’ll fall in the less-familiar constellation lying to their south, Cetus the Whale.

Bottom line: The Harvest Full Moon – and second of four full supermoons in 2024 – happens overnight on September 17-18, 2024, for us in the Americas. There’s also a partial lunar eclipse that night. This full moon lies in front of the constellation Pisces. And it lies near the golden planet Saturn.

Want to see 2023’s brightest supermoon? Photos here

Read more: Does a supermoon have a super effect on us?

September 28, 2023
Moon Phases

Like what you read?
Subscribe and receive daily news delivered to your inbox.

Your email address will only be used for EarthSky content. Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

More from 

John Jardine Goss

View All