Friday, June 13, 2014

Honey Moon

A full moon over Greece's Temple of Poseidon in June 2008.
Skywatchers will get a special treat as a full moon occurs tonight, Friday the 13th, something that hasn't happened in June since almost a century ago, in 1919. Known as the Honey Moon, as well as the Strawberry Moon or Rose Moon, the actual full moon occurred very early Friday morning, but will still be nearly full when it rises in the east Friday evening. 
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 bigger and more amber (hence the name Honey Moon) than other full moons this year. The amber colors are due to the scattering of longer wavelengths of light by dust and pollution in our atmosphere. 
According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the name Strawberry Moon name comes from the fact that it's strawberry season, and Algonquin Native American tribes knew this was the time of year to gather the ripening fruit. 
This is the first time since Oct. 13, 2000, that a full moon has occurred on a Friday the 13th of any month, and the last time it will happen until Oct. 13, 2049.
The superstitious may want to steer clear of black cats this Friday the 13th, but venturing outside very early in the morning will be worthwhile. Enjoy the spectacular sight of the full Honey Moon in the night sky, I know I will! 

In today’s world, the phrase "Friday the 13th" rolls off the tongue, instinctively linked to bad luck and strange happenings. Everyone knows Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day. But why does it have such a bad reputation? If you want to learn more about where the superstition of Friday the 13th comes from, read my sequel blog The Myth of Friday the 13th.

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