Rare Occurrence: Full Harvest Moon to light up the sky on Friday the 13th

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A nearly full Harvest Moon is seen on October 04, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — If you don’t typically stay up late on Friday night, a rare occurrence will make it worth your while this week. A full Harvest Moon will set the sky aglow on Friday the 13th for the first time in nearly two decades.

The moon kicks off the fall season around the autumnal equinox, making us reminiscent of chilly nights and pumpkins galore, sweaters and cozy campfires.

NASA says the moon will be full early Saturday morning around 12:33 a.m ET and remain full for approximately three days. For those of us viewing in Vegas, it will appear full before the end of Friday at 9:33 p.m. This particular moon will rise in the northern U.S. about 25 to 30 minutes later after the sun sets, whereas a typical moon rises about 50 minutes later.

The history behind how the celestial happening got its name is also something of note. According to NASA, the first use of “harvest” moon harkens back to 1706. Farmers often had to work later into the night during the harvest season, using the light of the moon to guide their way.

The Farmer’s Almanac calls it the “Corn Moon”, based on names used by Native Americans. It is named so as this was the traditional time of year when corn was harvested.

What else makes this full moon so special? It’s a micro full moon, meaning it will appear 14 percent smaller, the Almanac says. This is due to its orbit being at its greatest distance from Earth, otherwise known as “apogee”.

What are you waiting for? Grab a few friends and get ready for a watch party. It’s the perfect way to usher in the spookiest time of year!

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