Full Harvest Moon will illuminate the night sky on Friday the 13th

By Caitlin O'Kane

/ CBS News

Nature: Full moon

A Harvest Moon will occur on the upcoming Friday the 13th, making for a spooky night just ahead of the start of fall — the season of haunted hayrides and Halloween.

The full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox is called a Harvest Moon. Autumn officially begins on September 23 at 3:50 a.m. EDT.

However, this year's Harvest Moon is unlike most in that it will coincide with Friday the 13th. This rarity hasn't happened since a full moon appeared on October 13, 2000.

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The next time a full moon will coincide with Friday the 13th will be August 13, 2049.

The name Harvest Moon has symbolic meaning, NASA explains, because farmers sometimes need to work late into the night by the light of the moon to prepare for the winter ahead.

While Friday the 13 is usually considered a day of bad lucky, you may be fortunate enough to view the Harvest Moon, especially if you try in the middle of the night. According to NASA, peak viewing time will be a little after midnight — on Saturday, September 14 at 12:33 a.m. EDT.

A farmer harvests corn as the moon rises near Mason City, Iowa, on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008. AP/Globe Gazette, Arian Schuessler

First published on September 10, 2019 / 1:12 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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