Celestial events have been on override this summer, with meteor showers, Saturn appearing at its closest point and a host of supermoons, including a blue moon. Now, the last supermoon of 2023 is set to cap off the series of planetary sights. This one’s called a Harvest Moon as it’s the closest full moon to the autumn equinox.
September 29 is when the final and fourth supermoon of the year will dazzle the skies. The last three supermoons appeared on July 3, August 1 and August 30. The next time a supermoon will be visible is on August 19, 2024. That’s almost a year away, so make set aside sometime this Friday evening to look up at the skies. It’s a long weekend holiday, so you’ll have leisure time to spare.
What is a supermoon?
A Supermoon is the term used for a full moon that is at its closest distance to Earth in its orbit (or perigree) and appears bigger and brighter as a result. According to NASA, supermoons appear a full 14% larger and 30% brighter than usual.
Why is this supermoon called the Harvest Moon?
The name comes from this full moon’s appearance roughly every September, right before autumn. The moon’s bright light gives farmers extra well-lit evenings that help them complete their harvests during the night before frost sets in and ruins crops.
Fun fact – this Harvest supermoon also goes by the name of Corn Moon because it overlaps with the harvest season of corn in the northern areas of the U.S.
Where and when to see the final supermoon of 2023 in Dubai?
The desert, if you’ve got vehicles fit for offroading, is always your best bet for skies free of light pollution and clear, unhindered views. The tentative moonrise timings for Dubai on Friday, September 29 is 6:17pm.
Still an amateur stargazer? The Dubai Astronomy Group is hosting a supermoon viewing event on September 29 at the Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre. From 6pm-9pm you’ll get to enjoy an in-depth lecture on the supermoon phenomenon, a Q&A session and the chance to observe the moon through high-end telescopes and take phone photographs. Tickets cost AED 60 per person, book here.
Additionally, desert safari company Platinum Heritage have a special ‘Supermoon Desert Experience’ planned out if you’re looking to make the most of the long weekend and the supermoon phenomenon.
A vintage Land Rover will cruise through the dunes taking you to the perfect vantage point in the desert to witness a spectacular sunset and moonrise. A knowledgeable astronomer will guide you with a telescope in tow. Later, the same 4×4 will cart you back to a bedouin desert camp where a lavish buffet, owl encounters, camel rides, henna painting, and more await you. AED 395 per person, book here