Tonight, anyone with clear skies will be able to see a full moon. However, it is not just any full moon. This is a Harvest Moon, made even rarer as it comes on a Friday the 13th. The moon will also appear smaller than usual, making this a Harvest Micromoon.
The Harvest Moon will not be completely visible for East Coast residents until 12:33 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, notes the Farmers Almanac. If you live in the Central, Mountain and Pacific time sones, the moment the moon turns full is before midnight.
The last time a Harvest Moon happened at least partially was on June 13, 2014, when the opposite was the case. In that situation, East Coast residents got the full moon on Friday the 13th, but residents in the other time zones got the full moon on Thursday the 12th.
The last time there was a nationwide full Harvest Moon on a Friday the 13th was Oct. 13, 2000. It will not happen again until Aug. 13, 2049.
This year's Harvest Moon is unique in another way. It is a "micromoon" because it happens to coincide with apogee, the point where the moon is at its greatest distance from earth. At this point of its orbit, the moon is 252,100 miles away. The moon will appear about 14 percent smaller than usual full moons.
The full moon closest to the autumnal equinox is dubbed the Harvest Moon, since it comes during the harvest season and helps farmers work late into the night thanks to the moon's light. The moon rises around the same time the sun is setting, and rises at about the same time each night until it is full. Between Sept. 12 and 14, the moon's rising usually comes less than 27 minutes later each night on average, notes the Farmers Almanac.
According to Popular Mechanics, the Harvest Micromoon will be visible to East Coast residents tonight and tomorrow night at around 12:30 a.m. Residents in the other time zones should start watching the moon about a half-hour before midnight each night.
The Harvest Moon coming on Friday the 13th could give some with triskaidekaphobia reasons to worry. The number 13 is often considered an unlucky number and those with triskaidekaphobia have a real fear of it.0comments
According to History.com, the reason behind a fear of the number 13 dates back to Biblical tradition, which says there were 13 guests at Jesus' Last Supper. It is also thought that a specific fear of the 13th happening on a Friday is linked to Christian traditions, since Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Eve is thought to have given Adam the apple from the Tree of Knowledge on a Friday, and Cain is believed to have killed Abel on a Friday.
Photo credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images
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