One of an occasional series to keep you looking up, with information provided by the U.S. Naval Observatory.
Grab your sweeties, sky fans. Tonight's the night glorified by romantic poem and song--the shining on of Harvest Moon.
Traditionally in the Northern Hemisphere, the full moon nearest the Autumnal Equinox wins the Harvest Moon honors. Although its brightness supposedly lets farmers work later in the harvest fields, non-agrarians have been known to use the silvery light for spooning, crooning, swooning. (Mooning, it should be noted, is illegal.)
Since the Autumnal Equinox falls tomorrow at 10:42 a.m. EDT, tonight's full moon is the stuff songs are made of.
It's also a good time to catch a last look at the summer Milky Way. Get out of the city if possible--where the skies are darker--to best see this wispy, cloud-like band of stars stretching from Sagittarius in the south, through Cygnus the Swan overhead, to Cassiopeia in the northeast.
Look for a very faint patch of light near the star Mirach in the constellation Andromeda. Our closest--2 million light years away--spiral galactic neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, is perched at right angles to us like an open pocket watch. We are each spiraling in the opposite direction.
But since you never know who may be looking back, you might at least wave.