For Some, a Rare Full Harvest Moon Will Appear in the Sky on Friday the 13th


It’s not officially fall yet, but with kids back in school, it certainly doesn’t feel like summer anymore. We’ve put away our beach towels and started thinking about Halloween costumes. We’re also embracing pumpkin spice everything.

If you’re already getting excited about fall activities like hay rides, corn mazes and pumpkin patches, we have just the thing to help you launch the spooky season, or rather, Mother Nature has something up her sleeve.

This Friday is Friday the 13th (spooky already, right?) and it coincides with the next occurrence of the rare Harvest Moon. According to Joe Rao, a contributing astronomer for The Farmer’s Almanac, the next time this coincidence will happen won’t be until the year 2049!

While September 13th still isn’t officially fall (the first day of fall is September 23rd), we consider this event our spooky, unofficial start to the season. We just might have to carve a jack-o-lantern the next day.

If you live anywhere in the Central, Mountain or Pacific time zones, you’ll have the easiest time seeing the Harvest Moon. Simply look in the sky right after sunset. You also might notice that the moon looks brighter than usual. For farmers, this makes it easier for them to gather their harvest after the sun sets, thus the name Harvest Moon. In fact, leading up to Friday’s Harvest Moon, the moon will rise around the same time every night, providing additional light for farmers.

If you live on the East Coast, you’re going to need to stay up past midnight to see the Harvest Moon, 12:33am to be exact. It’s not a school night, so we say, stay up and see the moon with the kiddos if they (and you) would like to see this rare occurrence. Maybe this doesn’t seem quite as spooky since it’ll technically be Saturday the 14th when the moon makes it’s appearance, but it’s still worth viewing.

Not only is the Harvest Moon occurring on Friday the 13th super rare, but it’s also possible that the moon could become a Supermoon (which appears larger than usual) or a Micromoon (which appears smaller than usual). Look in the sky Friday night (or after midnight Saturday morning) to see if you think the moon looks bigger or smaller than usual.

Are you superstitious about Friday the 13th? Are you going to watch for the Harvest Moon on Friday night? What are your favorite fall activities?