Monday's 'Harvest Moon' was full, blood red and big

Living up to many's expectation's, last night's moon appeared much bigger, brighter and blood red as it hung low on the horizon just after sunset.

The 2014 Harvest Moon, which happened Monday night, is an annual occurrence near the fall equinox in which a full moon appears much larger in the sky, and typically shows hues of red, orange and yellow. What made this Harvest Moon special is that it occurred while the moon is in 'supermoon,' which made it appear even larger.

The crest of the moon's full phase, depending on your time zone in North America, was seen at:

9:38 P.M. EDT
8:38 P.M. CDT

7:38 P.M. MDT
6:38 P.M. PDT.

The Harvest Moon is the last full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, where the moon tends to hang low on the horizon, giving it a reddish hue. Because it sets so low on the horizon, it creates a 'moon illusion' where the moon appears much larger in size, and appears much brighter. Historically, farmers depended on Harvest Moonlight to help them work after daytime when trying to harvest quickly before the autumn.

What makes this Harvest Moon qualify as a supermoon is that it turned 'full' less than one day after reaching its lunar perigee: the moon's closest point to the Earth. So, it appeared even bigger than the already bigger-than-normal Harvest Moon. That's a very big, very red moon.

While the Harvest Moon is an annual occurrence, and supermoons happen sporadically through the year, it's a very rare case that a Harvest Moon is also classified as a supermoon. Fortunately for North America, we were able to see this cosmic coincidence much more clearly in the night sky, while much of the Eastern world only saw it during the day.

NASA explains the Harvest Moon in great detail in the video below.

Tap to watch if you're viewing on the news app.

Did you go out and watch the moon last night? Let us know in the comments below.

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