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Rare October harvest moon to light up the sky Thursday night

The full harvest moon is partly covered by clouds as it rises over the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. SLO County residents will be able to see a harvest moon on Thursday night.
The full harvest moon is partly covered by clouds as it rises over the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. SLO County residents will be able to see a harvest moon on Thursday night. AP

Don’t forget to look up at the sky Thursday night to catch a rare October harvest moon.

The harvest moon is a full moon that falls closest to the autumnal equinox on Sept. 22. It usually happens in September but can be spotted as late as Oct. 7.

The harvest moon, also called a blood moon or a hunter’s moon, is one of the classic harbingers of fall.

What’s special about the harvest moon is that it rises almost as soon as the sun sets, so it first appears as a huge, orange-tinged orb around dusk, according to National Geographic.

Skies are forecast to be clear in San Luis Obispo County on Thursday night, so we should get a nice, unimpeded view of the moon.

How the moon got its name is pretty self-explanatory. National Geographic says that with so little darkness between sunset and moonrise, farmers could work later into the night harvesting crops. The Washington Post says the moon’s appearance in the sky was a sign to farmers that it was time to bring in the bushels.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

The lava lake within in Halema‘uma‘u Crater dropped overnight on September 7, 2017, and was out of sight during the day, about 105 feet below the vent rim. The glow show after dark is fantastic, says Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in comments post

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