Before fall’s official arrival on September 23, a rare sighting of the Harvest Moon will happen on Friday, September 13th. That's when a full moon occurs closest to the autumnal equinox. According to Farmers’ Almanac contributing astronomer, Joe Rao, this combination is on average a once-in-a-20-year occurrence, but unfortunately, your next chance to see one in the U.S. is actually on August 13, 2049.
And honestly, is there a better way to get into a spooky mood with a full moon happening on Friday the 13th?
If you’re in the Central, Mountain, or Pacific time zones, you’ll be able to this unique full moon once the sun sets, and don’t be alarmed if you notice it’s a little brighter than usual outside. Leading up to the Harvest Moon, the moon will rise at nearly the same time each night, meaning it appears less than 27 minutes later every night, thus providing enough light for farmers to continue gathering crops during the peak of the harvest season.
But for those of us on the East coast, we’ll see the Harvest Moon just after midnight—at 12:33 a.m. on Saturday, the 14th. And although it may not seem as thrilling, you’ll still be able to witness the Harvest Moon, which actually has the potential to also be a Supermoon or a Micromoon. The event nearly coincides with apogee—that point in its orbit which places it at its greatest distance from the Earth: 252,100 miles away. So, don’t be surprised if you hear people say that the moon appeared to be bigger or smaller than normal, because there's a real chance of either happening.