Friday’s full moon is known by several different names

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Friday’s moon is probably best known as the harvest moon, a name that goes back thousands of years in human history.


GLENN BAGLO / VANCOUVER SUN

The full moon on Friday isn’t going to be as loony as usual.

What makes it different is that it’s an apogee moon — a moon that’s furthest away in its elliptical orbit from Earth. That extra distance makes it look about 14 per cent smaller than the bright super moon in February. Hence one of its nicknames: micro moon.

The moon will reach its apogee at 6:30 a.m. Friday, said Leigh Cummings, president of the Vancouver Centre chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. At that point, it will be 406,377 km away from Earth.

“It will be a full moon at 9:33 p.m. on the West Coast,” he said.

Friday’s full moon will be unusual for another reason: it takes place on Sept. 13, a day of concern for people suffering from the fear number 13, or triskaidekaphobia.

Friday’s moon is probably best known as the harvest moon, a name that goes back thousands of years in human history, Cummings said.

“From an astronomical standpoint, certain moons had importance because they earmarked when the weather was going to change.”

“The harvest moon has always been a traditional one because it was an important time to know when to start harvesting before the snow flies and the crops have done as much growing as they’re going to do.”

Don’t get your hopes up that you’ll be able to see Friday’s full moon anywhere in Metro Vancouver. Environment Canada says it will be cloudy during the day with a 70 per cent chance of rain at night.

One thing rain won’t stop is the 17th annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival on Sept. 14. The festival, which celebrates the full moon and the harvest, is from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Slocan Park, 2750 East 29th Avenue, Vancouver.

Organized by Still Moon Arts, the festival includes a Twilight Lantern Walk with a finale at Renfrew Park.

kevingriffin@postmedia.com

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