Full corn moon to light up skies over Britain this week

Rob Waugh
·Contributor
·2 mins read
The next full moon will be the "Corn Moon" (Getty)
The next full moon will be the "Corn Moon" (Getty)

A full corn moon will blaze in the sky over Britain on Wednesday morning, but you’ll have to get up early to see it at its best.

Peaking at 6.22am on Wednesday, the moon will also look very close to full on Tuesday night and on Wednesday night, according to the experts at Royal Museums Greenwich.

Also known as a harvest Moon, the September full moon is so called because its bright light would let farmers continue working into the night.

It’s often the nearest full moon to the autumnal equinox.

Other names for this full moon around the world include fruit moon and hungry ghost moon, NASA explains.

Read more: What is a supermoon?

Full moons occur when the moon appears as a full circle in the sky, when the whole side of the moon facing the Earth is lit up by the sun.

A blog post at Royal Museums Greenwich explains: “It may at first seem odd to think of a full moon occurring during daylight hours.

“The reason this happens is that the time refers to the exact moment when the sun and moon are aligned on opposite sides of the Earth.

“This moment is known as the 'syzygy' of the sun-Earth-moon system, and can happen at any time day or night.”

Read more: Five moon myths (and how to disprove them yourself)

Americans disagree on the title, referring to this full moon as the corn moon and the next full moon (on October 1) as the harvest moon.

In Britain, we call October’s full moon the hunter’s moon.

Royal Museums Greenwich writes: “After the harvest moon comes the hunter's moon, in the preferred month to hunt summer-fattened deer and fox unable to hide in bare fields.

“Like the harvest moon, the hunter's moon is also particularly bright and long in the sky, giving hunters the opportunity to stalk prey at night. Other names include the travel moon and the dying grass moon.

NASA expert Gordon Johnston explains that US names for full moons are derived from Native American folklore.

“The Maine Farmer's Almanac first published Native American names for the full moons in the 1930s,” writes Johnston.

“Over time these names have become widely known and used.

“According to this almanac, as the full moon in September and the last full moon of summer, the Algonquin tribes in what is now the northeastern USA called this the corn moon, as this was the time for gathering their main staple crops of corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice.”

Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK News