This Friday 13th will be an incredibly rare harvest full moon
If you’re at all interested in the stars, or astrology for that matter, then you’ve got something to look forward to this week: an incredibly rare harvest full moon.
For those who live in the Unites States – the harvest moon, which is the full moon nearest the start of the autumnal equinox – will be lighting up the skies on Friday the 13th of September, per the Farmers’ Almanac.
Normally, a full moon occurs at a specific moment. But this harvest moon is rather special; for those living in the Eastern Time Zone, it will take place at exactly 12:33 AM on Saturday, the 14th September, but according to NASA, it will appear perfectly circular to our eyes from Thursday night through to Sunday morning.
Those who aren’t immune to superstition will be aware that it’s rare for the entirety of the US to see a full moon on Friday the 13th, which is believed by some to be an unlucky day. The last time this phenomenon occurred was on the 13th October, 2000, and you want to ensure you catch this one, as the next won’t be for almost three decades, on the 13th October, 2049.
The upcoming harvest moon has also been called a “micro-moon” as as it will appear around 14 per cent smaller in the sky. This is because the moon is nearing the point in its nearly month-long elliptical orbit at which it is furthest away from the Earth – known as its “apogee”.
While the moon will be at apogee on Friday September 13th at 9:32 AM EDT, it won’t appear significantly smaller in size to our eyes.
“Harvest moon” got its name because the early-evening moonlight allows farmers to work late into the evenings at harvest time.