Rare full moon will light up Friday the 13th for the first time in years

The spooky date gets a spooky night sky to go with it, and there won't be another nationwide until 2049.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
2 min read

A full moon rises at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in 2017.

NASA/Kim Shiflett

Friday the 13th is here, and it's extra spooky. The date associated with bad luck, haunted houses and that 1980s summer-camp slasher film series will get a full moon for the first time in years.

According to the Farmers' Almanac, those living in the Pacific, Central and Mountain time zones will get to gaze on the full moon before midnight on Friday, Sept. 13, but those living in the Eastern time zone will have to fudge a little. Their full moon will happen just after midnight, at 12:33 a.m., pushing it to the much-less-spooky date of Saturday, Sept. 14.

If you miss seeing it Friday night into Saturday, you'll get another chance. NASA says the moon will appear full again Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Watch this: Our future on the moon: What will the moon look like in 2069?

East Coasters last saw a Friday the 13th full moon on June 13, 2014, the Farmers' Almanac reports. A nationwide Friday the 13th full moon hasn't happened since Oct. 13, 2000, and won't happen again until Aug. 13, 2049.

A full moon in September is also called a harvest moon, meaning it's the full moon nearest to Sept. 23, the autumnal equinox. But unlike that stunningly bright supermoon that starred in so many great photos back in February, this one will appear 14 percent smaller than that, leading some to call it a micro moon. That's because it's nearly at apogee, the Almanac reports. Apogee is the point in the moon's orbit where it's at its greatest distance from Earth, 252,100 miles away.

According to NASA, other names for this moon include the fruit moon, the barley moon, the corn moon, the mid-autumn festival moon, the Chuseok Moon, the Modhu Purnima and the BinaraPura Pasalosvaka Poya.

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Originally published Sept. 10.