You make not have heard of a micro harvest moon because it's a rare occurrence, but one is due to take place this weekend. It will occur on Friday 13 September and Saturday 14, depending on the country you live in. 

Micro moon.jpg
A micro harvest moon is due to take place on September 13. Image: Hans Pfleger Hans/Getty Images

A full moon occurs when the face of the moon appears fully illuminated from Earth. A micro moon is when a full moon coincides with apogee, when the moon is at the furthest point of its 29-day journey around the planet, making it appear smaller than usual. As the illuminated area is also smaller, the moon may look a little less bright than a regular full moon. The last time a full moon occurred on Friday the 13th was in October 2000, and the next time it occurs will be August 2049, so far from being unlucky, those who get a chance to admire the impending one will be fortunate.

Micromoon.jpg
The micro moon will occur on Friday 13 September. Image: Philippe Lejeanvre

We've had a lot of dramatic lunar events to report this year, including the super blood wolf moon eclipse and the black supermoon. The full moon in September is traditionally called the harvest moon, because it occurs closest to the fall equinox, and because it coincides with the traditional period of crop harvesting in the northern hemisphere. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise and its brightness allows farmers to work late into the night. The harvest moon coincides with the beginning of the Mid-Autumn (Mooncake) Festival in China.

Mooncake Festival.jpg
Aerial view of a pattern made of 9,999 moon cakes before the Mid-Autumn Festival 2018 in China. Image: Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images

The impending harvest micro moon reaches 100% illumination at 4:33am UTC, the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time. Those living on the East Coast of the US can see it on Saturday at around 12.33am, and earlier the further west you go. Those living in the Pacific, Central, Mountain and Alaskan time zones will see the full moon just before midnight, and it will also appear full and bright on the previous and following nights.

To find the times for moonrise and moonset at your location, please see here.

Explore related stories

September 2024 Where to Go When Hero - Mongolia

Wildlife & Nature

The best places to visit in September 2024

Jul 17, 2024 • 8 min read