Tonight, for the first time in close to 100 years, a rare “Honey Moon” will rise on Friday the 13th.
According to National Geographic, a “honey moon” typically occurs in the month of June around the summer solstice.
June’s Full Moon crosses the sky lower than any other in the year, taking on an amber hue. Granting the label “Honey Moon”.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) June 13, 2014
The magazine writes: “With the sun’s path across the sky at its highest during this month of the summer solstice, the moon is at its lowest, which keeps the lunar orb close to the horizon and makes it appear more amber than other full moons this year.” That’s pretty cool by itself but this “honey moon” is exceptionally rare for a few reasons. First, it falls on Friday the 13th. This happens more often than you might think (about every three years) but it still has a creepy aura about it.
Don’t forget to use Friday the 13th and a full moon as excuses to act doubly crazy today. — Jeff Ross, MD (@Jeff_Ross_MD) June 13, 2014
Second, tonight’s full moon will look especially big in the sky. The moon is currently at its perigee (the shortest distance from earth during its orbit) which is about 225,000 miles away. The moon will also be close to the horizon tonight which will also make it appear larger in the sky.
Astronomer Raminder Singh Samra of the H. R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver, Canada, said: “The moon illusion should be more prominent during this full moon as it will graze closer to the horizon than at any other time of the year … This will make the moon appear more amber than other full moons of the year.”
The last time that a full honey moon rose on Friday the 13th was way back in 1919. According to Universe Today, it won’t happen again until June 13, 2098.