(WJHL) – The Harvest Moon will be high and bright in the night sky Thursday. 

But how exactly did the Harvest Moon get its name? 

The end of September is prime time for farmers to get the most out of their harvest, which means long hours tending to the crops. As the sun starts to set earlier, this full moon rises at the same time for multiple evenings to give farmers a few extra hours of much-needed light in this busy time of year. This was especially helpful back before farm equipment had no headlights. 

The full moon will be out Thursday through the weekend, but for those who would like to see the moon at its peak illumination, an early start to Friday is required. The moon will be the brightest at 5:58 a.m. Friday. 

Along with the full moon, on Friday night stargazers will be able to see the Harvest Moon and the Big Dipper in the night sky. About an hour after sunset, as the full moon is rising in the east, the Big Dipper will be visible just over the horizon in the Northeast sky. Keep an eye out for a pink bright-colored star. This is the star Dubhe, which is the “tip of the spoon” of the Big Dipper.