Friday's full harvest moon is also a micro moon

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 12, 2019

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.

This Friday, a full moon will be visible in the sky, which will be the first time in almost 20 years that it will coincide with Friday the 13th. The Harvest Moon will have a full shape for roughly three days, showing off its circular silhouette from Thursday night through Sunday morning.

The Harvest Moon is the first full moon that takes place close to the autumn equinox.

"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". More importantly for observers, the Harvest Moon will rise in the east around sunset, shine all night long, and sink in the west around sunset. 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.

In addition to the spooky date, the September full moon will also be a micromoon, meaning it appear slightly smaller than usual. It's the opposite of a supermoon.

A micromoon occurs when the moon reaches the full phase while at its orbit's farthest point from Earth, called apogee. 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 nearly three decades, on the 13th October, 2049. So officially, at 406,377 km from Earth, Friday sees a Harvest Micro Moon. This means, it typically coincides with the September full moon but it can occasionally occur around the October full moon as well.

The arrival of the Harvest Moon, and soon of Orion, are sure signs that fall is coming.

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