BOZEMAN – You likely noticed the moon is becoming full again but this full moon has special meaning. The moon will be full on Friday September 13th.
The full moon closest to the fall equinox is called the “Harvest Moon”.
The fall equinox will arrive on Monday September 23rd.
What makes this year’s harvest moon unique is that it falls on Friday the 13th. The last time the harvest moon occurred on Friday the 13th was back on October 13, 2000 and the next time these two come together will be in 2049.
Harvest moon’s greatly help farmers get their crops in as the full moon rises shortly after sunset adding much needed moonlight at night for greater visibility to harvest crops.
Unfortunately, the weather pattern this week has been extremely wet for most of Montana, which will create muddy conditions to get farm equipment out in the fields.
Another interesting fact about this year’s harvest moon is how small it appears in the night sky. This is due to the moon’s orbit around earth which is egg shaped or elliptical. So this full moon cycle has the moon in apogee or farthest point away from earth that makes it appear around 14% smaller than normal. Another name for the full moon at apogee is a “micro-moon”.
Back on September 28, 2015 the harvest moon was also a "super-moon". A “super-moon” refers to the moon at it’s closest orbit to earth at perigee. The full moon appears to be about 30% brighter than normal.