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Rare 'Micromoon' Is Gracing Us With Its Presence On Friday The 13th

Americans haven't seen a full harvest moon on the supposedly unlucky day since 2000. This one will be teeny.

Keep your eyes peeled for a teeny, tiny full moon on Friday, folks.

On Friday the 13th, a harvest micromoon will grace the night sky across the United States. 

Those familiar with a full moon know that’s when the face of the moon appears fully illuminated from Earth. But not all full moons are the same. Some are harvest moons, some are micromoons ― and a few are both.

A full moon at the peak of fall harvest season allows farmers to “work late into the night by this Moon’s light,” according to the Farmer’s Almanac. That makes this week’s full moon a harvest moon.

It’s also a micromoon, which happens when the full moon is at the point in the moon’s orbit where it’s at its greatest distance from Earth, called apogee. At its apogee, the full moon will appear 14% smaller to people on Earth than when the moon is at its closest, making it a micromoon. 

Moon aficionados will remember last year’s supermoon. A supermoon occurs when the full moon is at the closest distance to Earth ― its perigee. 

If you’re excited about the harvest micromoon, East Coasters can take a look at it on Friday the 13th and Saturday the 14th, at around 12:33 a.m. Those living in the Pacific, Central, Mountain and Alaskan time zones will witness the full moon just before midnight.

Friday the 13th is a spooky enough day for some, as is a full moon. But the occurrence of a full moon on Friday the 13th is actually pretty rare. It previously happened nationwide on Oct. 13, 2000, and then only on the East Coast on June 13, 2014 (the rest of the country saw it on the 12th). It won’t happen again for the entire country until Aug. 13, 2049.

So, grab a friend and head outside on Friday night. See the micromoon while you can! And maybe use the light to work late outside.

This article has been updated with details on previous full moons on Friday the 13th.

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