Celestial objects come and go in the visible night sky all the time. Whether it be a full Moon or a meteor shower, or just the best night to see Mars, we’re here to direct your eyes skyward and tell you to look up and appreciate the wonders of space from Earth.
This week, we’re asking you to look at a bright, and completely illuminated full Moon. The last full Moon of the summer, this special Moon will rise after midnight on Wednesday, September 2, at 1:22 a.m. EDT and appear full for three days, according to NASA.
Here’s what you need to know.
Over a period of 27 days, 7 hours and 43 minutes, the Moon goes through its lunar cycle, varying in its perceived brightness and size in our night skies.
The Moon’s lunar cycle is marked by several milestones. At the peak of its cycle, a small sliver of the Moon’s crescent gradually appears in our skies as it waxes to become a full Moon. After that, it starts to wane into invisibility once more, before beginning anew.
When the Moon is full, the orbiting rock bares its full face to us Earth dwellers when our planet sits right between the Sun and the Moon. As a result, the side of the Moon facing the Earth becomes fully illuminated by the Sun’s beaming light.