Rare full moon on Friday the 13th

Harvest Moon 2013

September Full Moon: Rare Friday 13th Micro Harvest Moon Will Appear Later This Week

The last time the USA had a Friday the 13th full moon was on October 13, 2000, experts say.

Typically, the full moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the moon seems to rise at almost the same time, just 25 to 30 minutes later across the northern part of the US, according to NASA. Not only will the Full Moon rise around the time of sunset, but it will also be a smaller-than-usual Micromoon.

Adding to the rarity, this upcoming full moon almost coincides with apogee, the point in the moon's orbit which places it at its greatest distance from Earth at 252,100 miles away. But, for the casual observer, the nightsky on Friday, September 13, will be dominated by a basically full moon.

A rare Harvest Moon, also called a micromoon, will be visible in the skies this week - on Friday the 13th for some.

Fall begins with the fall equinox, which is still more than 3 weeks off.

The Harvest Moon occurs every September, and aligns with the Autumnal Equinox.

What sets the Harvest Moon apart is that typically the moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but the Harvest Moon rises only about 30 minutes later every day around the fall equinox, experts say. "Thus, from night to night the Moon moves more horizontally than vertically and thus rises sooner from one night to the next".

Mr Rao said: "To add to this Full Moon "madness", this upcoming Full Moon very almost coincides with apogee - that point in its orbit which places it at its greatest distance from the Earth: 252,100 miles away".

The full moon in September is known as the "Harvest Moon"-a name that may have originated from ancient Native American traditions, or possibly even Anglo-Saxon or old Germanic languages".

When viewed from Los Angeles, the Full Moon will peak around 9.32pm PDT.

"Remember last February, when the Full Moon coincided with perigee, its closest point to Earth?"

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