A harvest moon will rise this weekend

A stunning harvest full moon will rise in the eastern sky Friday evening, and the nearly full moon will be visible each night through the weekend, barring pesky clouds.

Skywatchers who step outside Friday night or early Saturday will be able to enjoy the sights of the harvest moon, one of the most popular full moons of the year.

The full moon peaks on Saturday at about 6 a.m. EDT, although it will appear bright and full in the sky beginning on Friday and into Sunday, according to LiveScience

The harvest moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, which this year will be Sept. 22. 

Many crops ripen all at once in late summer and early autumn, so farmers found themselves extremely busy at this time of year, according to NASA.

Why is it called the harvest moon?

They had to work after sundown. Moonlight became an essential part of farming, and the harvest moon was born.

Why is it called the harvest moon?

September's full moon also has other nicknames inspired by farmers and the seasonal changes of early autumn, including the corn moon, rutting moon, yellow leaf moon and autumn moon, AccuWeather said.

Why is it called the harvest moon?

At moonrise, the moon is also often reddened by clouds and dust in Earth's atmosphere.

Moons near the horizon are also swollen to outlandish size by the "moon illusion," a well-known but still mysterious trick of the eye that makes low-hanging moons seem much larger than they really are.