The next time a harvest moon will occur is in the year 2049. Don't miss the opportunity to witness nature in all its magnificence this weekend.
Officially, fall is set to arrive only on September 23, but it turns out that Mother Nature has a fantastic spectacle in store for us just a tad bit a little earlier. If you're into all things spooky, a rare and unique harvest moon is set to take place on the eeriest day of them all — Friday the 13th. Kick off the season to binge-watch horror movies, drink warm pumpkin spice lattes, and hold bonfires with a fun night of moongazing. As per The Old Farmer's Almanac, this natural wonder only happens every two decades so it's something you definitely can't miss out on.
Should you be up for a night of witnessing the absolute magic of nature, you might have to clear up your Friday evening. Those located in the Central, Mountain, or Pacific time zones will be able to witness the harvest moon immediately after the sun sets. Does anything sound better than a night of moongazing with your friends to start your weekend off right? You should enjoy the lead-up to the big night of the harvest moon too as the moon is expected to rise at almost the exact same time each night, which means it will appear less than 27 minutes later every night. Meanwhile, for those on the East Coast, you can catch the harvest moon a little later into the night at about 12:33 am on Saturday the 14th. This gives you and your gang just enough time to watch your favorite horror flick and get into that Friday the 13th mood.
Now, for all those astronomy nerds out there, this is an especially rare night. Because the harvest moon coincides with apogee, "that point in its orbit which places it at its greatest distance from the Earth — 252,100 miles away," it has the potential to be a Supermoon or a Micromoon. This essentially means the moon could appear smaller or bigger than it usually does on a regular night. Whichever way it goes, it's bound to be a beautiful phenomenon that you'll be glad to have witnessed.
If you're wondering what a harvest moon is in the first place, it's a full moon that takes place closest to the beginning of fall or the autumnal equinox. Typically, this occurs at the exact same time as September's full moon, however, it can take place in October as well. But why is it called the "harvest" moon in the first place? Well, you can probably guess that it has something to do with farming — definitely no surprises there. In the past, the harvest moon was an aide to farmers and agricultural crews who were harvesting their summer-grown crops. "For several evenings, the moonrise comes soon after sunset. This results in an abundance of bright moonlight early in the evening," The Farmer's Almanac explains. This "bright moonlight" was a sign that the crops were ready to harvest. The next harvest moon will only take place in the year 2049, so don't miss out on the opportunity to see nature in all its glory this weekend.