A RARE Harvest moon has been seen across various locations in the UK – as it falls on Friday the 13th for the first time in 13 years.
Our satellite tonight is at its furthest point in its orbit around the Earth.
As a result it appears both smaller and dimmer in the night sky when viewed from Earth.
Compared to a “super moon” – when a full moon coincides with its closest point in its orbit of Earth – the micro moon appears 14 per cent smaller and 30 per cent dimmer.
Today also marks the first time in 13 years a full moon has appeared on Friday the 13th.
It won’t happen against until May 2033 – in 13 years’ time.
In the UK, the moon will hit peak brightness at exactly 5.32am on Saturday morning.
The different types of moons
Here are some of the most interesting moon phases and when to see them…
A Blue Moon refers to the occasion when a full moon appears for the second time in the same month, this is very rare and the next Blue Moon should occur on Halloween in 2020.
The Harvest Moon appears around the time of the autumnal equinox when farmers tend to do their main crop harvesting.
A Supermoon appears when it is at its closest point to Earth and therefore at its brightest, the next one will appear in September.
A Blood Moon occurs during a total lunar eclipse, the next one should happen in May 2020.
Each month of the year actually has its own special full moon phenomenon, they are as follows:
- January: Wolf Moon
- February: Snow Moon
- March: Worm Moon
- April: Pink Moon
- May: Flower Moon
- June: Strawberry Moon
- July: Buck Moon
- August: Sturgeon Moon
- September: Full Corn Moon
- October: Hunter’s Moon
- November: Beaver Moon
- December: Cold Moon.
The Moon – our closest neighbour explained
Here's what you need to know…
- The Moon is a natural satellite – a space-faring body that orbits a planet
- It’s Earth’s only natural satellite, and is the fifth biggest in the Solar System
- The Moon measures 2,158 miles across, roughly 0.27 times the diameter of Earth
- Temperatures on the Moon range from minus 173 degrees Celcius to 260 degrees Celcius
- Experts assumed the Moon was another planet, until Nicolaus Copernicus outlined his theory about our Solar System in 1543
- It was eventually assigned to a “class” after Galileo discovered four moons orbiting Jupiter in 1610
- The Moon is believed to have formed around 4.51billion years ago
- The strength of its gravitational field is about a sixth of Earth’s gravity
- Earth and the Moon have “synchronous rotation”, which means we always see the same side of the Moon – hence the phrase “dark side of the Moon”
- The Moon’s surface is actually dark, but appears bright in the sky due to its reflective ground
- During a solar eclipse, the Moon covers the Sun almost completely. Both objects appear a similar size in the sky because the Sun is both 400 times larger and farther
- The first spacecraft to reach the Moon was in 1959, as part of the Soviet Union’s Lunar program
- The first manned orbital mission was Nasa’s Apollo 8 in 1968
- And the first manned lunar landing was in 1969, as part of the Apollo 11 mission
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