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Harvest Moon Rises, Affected By Smoke In Riverbank
This year’s Harvest Moon rises in the east, over Riverbank, shortly after sunset on Thursday, Oct. 1. Though the weather — and the smoke — had been nicer the week before, the favorable winds and temperatures had vanished, resulting in its blood red appearance. Ric McGinnis/The News

Observers of the night sky over Riverbank last week were able to spot a blood red full moon.

Although the week before had seen favorable winds and temperatures that helped disperse much of the smoke in the valley from fires across the north state, by the end of last month, winds had changed and the smoke was back.

On Thursday evening, Oct. 1, the first full moon of the month, the Harvest Moon, rose in the east over Riverbank shortly after the sun set in the west.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we call the full moon closest to the autumn equinox the Harvest Moon. This year, the equinox was on Sept. 22, so the early October moon was it.

Usually found in September, this year’s fall full moon this month helps push us into a ‘Blue Moon’ situation.

The Blue Moon will come on Oct. 31, according to astronomers, because it’ll be the second of two full moons in a single calendar month. The last Blue Moon happened on March 31, 2018.

And they say that Blue Moons aren’t really blue, that photo editing or filters usually are used to make them appear that way.