Skywatchers are in for a spooky treat thanks to the full moon known as the Harvest Moon, which coincides with Friday the 13th for the first time in almost 20 years.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the beginning of fall or the autumnal Equinox.
The Harvest Moon will reach its peak on Sept. 14 at 12.33 a.m. EDT, says the Old Farmer’s Almanac. “For the best view, look skyward on the night of the 13th – Friday the 13th, no less!” it says.
The last time a full moon occurred on Friday the 13th was on Oct. 13, 2000, according to Farmer's Almanac. The annual periodical notes that the rare event will not occur again until Aug. 13, 2049.
The rare event sparked plenty of 'spooky' chatter on social media.
The Harvest Moon is named after the harvest season with which it coincides.
“Farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon,” explained NASA, in a blog post. “The Harvest Moon is an old European name for this full Moon; the Oxford English Dictionary cites the year 1706 for the first published use of the name ‘Harvest Moon’."
NASA also noted that the Harvest Moon is important to many cultures. "Many cultures have holidays connected to this Moon, including the mid-Autumn festival in some East Asian countries and Chuseok in Korea!," it tweeted Friday.
“These next several nights – September 12, 13 and 14, 2019 – look for a full-looking moon to light up the nighttime sky from dusk till dawn,” explains EarthSky. “Depending on where you live worldwide, this upcoming full moon will fall on Friday, September 13, or Saturday, September 14.”
EarthSky notes that this Harvest Moon is also known as a micro moon, or mini-moon, given that it is the farthest and smallest full moon of the year.
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