Get ready to get spooked.
Friday night will bring the glow of a special September harvest moon, with an extra twist: It’s Friday the 13th.
A harvest moon is the full moon that falls closest to the autumnal equinox (this year, that’s Sept. 23). The harvest moon usually occurs in September or October, when farmers can use its light to get in extra hours in the field.
The Farmer’s Almanac predicts that this week’s harvest moon should peak at about 12:33 a.m. EST on the 14th, which will still be Friday the 13th for the rest of the country (sorry, East Coast — you’ll miss it by 34 minutes).
It’s fairly rare that a full moon coincides with Friday the 13th — according to the Almanac, the last time it happened nationwide was in October 2000, and it won’t happen again till August 2049.
But there’s still one more catch to the Friday harvest moon: It’ll be smaller than a normal full moon.
Friday’s moon is a “micro moon,” a full moon that occurs when the moon is furthest from earth (a point called apogee). At apogee, the moon will cover an area of sky about 14% smaller than it does when it’s closest to earth (a point known as perigee that brings us the “super moon”), according to NASA.
More: A full harvest moon is coming Friday the 13th. But here’s why it’ll actually look small
Clearly, there’s a lot going on with Friday’s moon.
And of course, there’s plenty of (non-scientific) human superstition surrounding Friday the 13th and full moons.
You may have heard that full moons can make people or animals go mad or change their behavior, but there’s really no stock to people experiencing significant mental changes or events because of the moon (and any changes in animal behavior mostly have to do with the changes in the amount of light the moon reflects).
Susan Santer owns The Luckenbooth, a Detroit occult shop that offers psychic and tarot card readings. Santer said she’s seeing Friday’s date and moon cycle as a new set of opportunities, not challenges.
“For me, Friday the 13th is not actually a bad thing at all,” said Santer, who said the day can bring luck.
The harvest moon can also be a positive sign, Santer said.
It’s a full moon, the end of a cycle, and can be a moment for releasing the old and welcoming the new. That sentiment is especially powerful when combined with the autumnal equinox and change of seasons, she said.
This moon will also fall under the astrological sign of Pisces, a water sign that’s tied to emotions and malleability, Santer said.
“This coming full moon would be a very good time to release old ties, emotional ties,” Santer said. “It could be a very powerful moon for some people, depending on their astrological setup and what they have to let go of.”
More: 13 movies to watch on Friday the 13th (beyond the obvious)
Like most heavenly events, the harvest micro moon will be best seen under cloudless skies.
While Friday evening might bring showers to the metro Detroit area before 8 p.m., the National Weather Service forecast shows skies mostly clearing later Friday night. Skies will likely be mostly cloudy in the Upper Peninsula.
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