Full-moon arrives two days late for this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋月今年不圓 天文館:真正月圓要晚兩天

Wed, Oct 04, 2017 - Page 14

Today is the Mid-Autumn Festival — a day traditionally celebrated by family reunion, enjoying the full moon and eating moon cakes. However, the Taipei Astronomical Museum (TAM) has pointed out that the moon on the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival this year is not really a full moon; the actual full moon will in fact occur two days later on Friday Oct. 6 (Aug. 17 in the lunar calendar) at 2:40am in the morning. As such, the moon that we will see this mid-autumn evening is not a true full moon: Around 2 percent of the moon will be hidden in the dark and not visible.

The TAM also invites the public to take part in a Mid-Autumn Festival special event that will take place between 7pm and 9pm and will include five activity areas and 22 astronomical telescopes for the public to photograph and enjoy the moon.

There is also an exhibition called “Take me to the moon” on display in the museum’s first floor lobby which will stay open through to Dec. 24. The exhibition includes a brief introduction to the moon, a history of human exploration of the moon, as well as educational games such as the popular “lunar sea fantasy” game and full-moon puzzles for children and adults to explore and enjoy.

(CNA, translated by Lin Lee-kai)







As the matter of fact, the chances of having full moon on the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival are not very high. In the 45-year period starting from 1986 and ending in 2030, there will be only 15 instances of a full moon on the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival — the odds are only one-in-three. The last time there was a full moon on the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival was Sept. 19, 2013 and the next time will be on Sept. 21, 2021.