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Harvest Moon peaks tonight

The full moon before the autumnal equinox.
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Posted at 5:41 PM, Sep 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-13 17:41:53-04

There's a full moon tonight. It's the Harvest Moon, the full moon before the Autumnal Equinox. The rising of the Harvest Moon was a sign to farmers that it was time to harvest their crops. This full moon is unique because the Moon rises as the sun sets, and it sets around sunrise. The added moonlight would give workers back-in-the-day more time to work. The full moon will "officially" peak at 12:33 AM EST. It will be a Friday the 13th full moon for the rest of the country.

Are you superstitious? This is the first Friday the 13th full moon since June 2014. The last time it occurred nationally was in 2000. Since 1903 there have been ten occurrences of a full moon falling on Friday the 13th. A Friday the 13th full moon occurs every 20 years on average. August 13, 2049 will be the next spooky occasion.

Tonight's Harvest Moon is a "micromoon." The Moon is currently at apogee, it's farthest point from Earth in it's orbit. At apogee the Moon sits roughly 252,100 miles away. A full moon will appear smaller and dimmer when the Moon is at apogee. On the flip side, a supermoon occurs when the Moon is closer to Earth.

If you want to view the Harvest Moon, you'll have a better view Saturday night. Clouds will hamper viewing conditions tonight. Even though the moon won't be as "full," skies will be clear tomorrow night.