Friday the 13th has enough stigma surrounding the superstitious date and this year the sighting of a rare harvest moon has potential to make it even spookier.

The rare sighting of the Harvest Moon will happen this Friday, September 13.  A harvest moon is when a full moon occurs closest to the autumnal equinox.  According to The Farmers’ Almanac, the likelihood of the lunar phenomenon falling on the spooky date is a once-in-a-20-year occurrence.  The last time this occurred was 19 years ago in the year 2000 and your next chance to see one in the U.S. is not until August 13, 2049.

We here on the east coast will see the Harvest Moon just after midnight at 12:33 a.m. on Saturday, the 14th. Although the view might not seem as thrilling as those in the Western parts of the country, who will be able to see the unique moon right after the sun sets, you’ll still be able to witness the Harvest Moon. The event nearly coincides with apogee, that point in its orbit which places it at its greatest distance from the Earth, 252,100 miles away, and yes I had to Google what that was. Don’t be surprised if you hear people say that the moon appeared to be bigger or smaller than normal, because there's a real chance of either happening.

Folks who live in the Central time zone and West will be able to view the rare full moon once the sun sets, causing it to be brighter than usual outside. Leading up to the Harvest Moon, the moon will rise at nearly the same time each night, meaning it appears less than 27 minutes later every night, thus providing enough light for farmers to continue gathering crops during the peak of the harvest season, hence the name Harvest Moon.



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