This Friday the 13th full moon is the first since January 2006.
But this full moon, most commonly known as the harvest moon, will appear much smaller than most. That’s because the moon will be at apogee, or the farthest point in its roughly four-week orbit. Timeanddate.com estimates a “micromoon” appears 14 percent smaller and 30 percent dimmer than the widely reported “supermoons” that dominate the news.
Though there is no universal definition governing what qualifies as a supermoon or micromoon, Time and Date says micromoons must be more than 251,655 miles away from Earth. Friday night’s moon will be 816 miles farther than that.
Some call the harvest moon the “corn moon,” since September marks a time during which farmers in the Plains typically begin harvesting their corn. Farther north, some may wait a bit later.
The next time we’ll have a moon approaching fullness on Friday the 13th (before achieving total illumination the next morning) will be in a little over 13 years. in May 2033.
And if you’re looking for something really riveting, mark your calendar for 2037. There will be two blue moons in a span of three months — a blue moon defined as the second full moon in a calendar month. They’ll occur on Jan. 31 and March 31, both months that will also feature a full moon on the first of the month. In addition, March 13, 2037, falls on a Friday.