Shimmering against the thin glass panes of the Donaghey Student Center, the full moon gleams throughout the campus of UA Little Rock. A chilled gust of wind signals the setting of the sun as an eerie blanket of bright light rests on the windows of the dorm halls. It wasn’t just that it was a full moon or the 50th anniversary of Scooby-Doo, it was also Friday the 13th.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the full moon landing on Friday the 13th won’t happen again until the year 2049. The full moon closest to the autumnal equinox is named The Harvest Moon–furthering the chilling reality of a full moon on Friday the 13th. While the appearance of a full moon on Friday the 13th is few and far between, what’s even more interesting is that one of America’s most beloved mystery series, Scooby-Doo, had its 50th anniversary.
“Like most things, any time there were some astronomical phenomena [our ancestors] couldn’t explain, they almost always attributed some supernatural power to it,” UA Little Rock’s Director of Astronomy, Dr. Tony Hall said.
Even though the alignment of these three events is quite explicable, it’s hard to not feel a slight sense of intention behind what is actually just coincidental. Even though several full moons come and go as the months trail on, internet culture can’t help but speculate the causes and effects of a full moon on Friday the 13th.
“When the full moon is at its brightest, of course, that is the most impressive,” Hall said. “Of course that’s the one that will catch your attention.”
While the full moon is typically the largest form we see it in, this Harvest Moon displayed a different variation of its pattern. Adding to the rarity of the event, the moon appeared to be quite smaller than it usually does in its fullness.
“It’s also a micro moon, which happens when the full moon is at the point in the moon’s orbit where it’s at its greatest distance from Earth, called apogee,” Huffington Post’s Jenna Amatulli said. “At its apogee, the full moon will appear 14 percent smaller to people on Earth than when the moon is at its closest, making it a micro moon.”
In spite of the spooky connotations, this exclusive night sky is only bound to happen every 500 years (WRAL). You might not have had the chance to catch a peek of this once-in-a-lifetime moon, but its passing marks the beginning of a new fall to enjoy.