This Friday 13th will be an incredibly rare harvest full moon

12 Septembre, 2019, 06:30 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • A full Harvest Moon will arrive on Friday the 13th this week

A full Harvest Moon will appear on the upcoming Friday the 13th for the first time in nineteen years - and look smaller than usual.

How does a full Harvest micromoon for Friday the 13th sound?

While most moons appear about 50 minutes after sunset, the Harvest Moon can appear as soon as 10 minutes after the sunsets.

Even though the Harvest Moon falls on a superstitious date, it has nothing to do with bad luck: According to NASA, the Harvest Moon has several nicknames, including the Barley Moon, the Corn Moon, the Fruit Moon, and the Mid-Autumn Festival Moon.

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"The harvest moon has always been a traditional one because it was an important time to know when to start harvesting before the snow flies and the crops have done as much growing as they're going to do".

As Jenna Amatulli reports for the Huffington Post, this phenomenon is known as a "micromoon", which occurs when a full moon happens close to the lunar apogee, or the point at which the moon is farthest from Earth. However, the term Harvest Moon - thought to be called so because it helps farmers work late into the night under the moonlight - applies to the full moon that's nearest to the Fall Equinox.

People living in Central Time, Mountain Time, Pacific Time will get the best visibility on Friday, September 13. It's the opposite of a supermoon. This is because the moon is nearing the point in its almost month-long elliptical orbit at which it is furthest away from the Earth - known as its "apogee". However, it's only when either a micro moon or superman coincides with a full moon that the terms get used.

The last full moon on Friday the 13th happened on October 13, 2000. It's such a common belief that Scientific American published an article in 2009 examining whether a full moon evokes "strange behavior." November's full moon is called the Hunter's Moon.

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