Friday the 13th harvest moon thrills skywatchers

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A rare Friday the 13th harvest moon has been thrilling skywatchers.

The full moon is the first to occur on Friday the 13th for almost 20 years and that kind of timing won’t recur for 30 years.

According to Old Farmer’s Almanac, the harvest moon is the full moon closest to the beginning of fall or the autumnal equinox.

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The last time a full moon occurred on Friday the 13th was on Oct. 13, 2000, said the almanac. The annual periodical notes that the rare event will not occur again until Aug. 13, 2049.

Jack and Kathy Duepree, of Camden, Maine, left and center, and their friend Betsy Starman, of Naples, Fla., watch the nearly-full harvest moon rise over Penobscot Bay, Friday.

Jack and Kathy Duepree, of Camden, Maine, left and center, and their friend Betsy Starman, of Naples, Fla., watch the nearly-full harvest moon rise over Penobscot Bay, Friday.
(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

The rare event sparked plenty of “spooky” chatter on social media.

The harvest moon is named after the harvest season with which it coincides.

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“Farmers can work late into the night by the light of this moon,” explained NASA in a blog post. “The harvest moon is an old European name for this full moon; the Oxford English Dictionary cites the year 1706 for the first published use of the name.”

The Friday the 13th harvest moon rises behind the Statue of Liberty.

The Friday the 13th harvest moon rises behind the Statue of Liberty.
(Gary Hershorn, Fox News)

NASA also noted that this particular moon is important to many cultures. “Many cultures have holidays connected to this moon, including the mid-autumn festival in some East Asian countries and Chuseok in Korea.”

The harvest moon will reach its peak on Sept. 14 at 12.33 a.m. EDT, says the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

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Full moon rises over Hz. Hatice Mosque in the Black Sea province of Samsun, Turkey on September 13, 2019. (Photo by Veysel Altun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Full moon rises over Hz. Hatice Mosque in the Black Sea province of Samsun, Turkey on September 13, 2019. (Photo by Veysel Altun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Players from both teams contest a corner under as full moon during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bohemians and Waterford at Dalymount Park in Dublin. (Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Players from both teams contest a corner under as full moon during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bohemians and Waterford at Dalymount Park in Dublin. (Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers



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