Superstitions Collide: Full Moon Rises on Friday the 13th

Jun 13, 2014

By Stephanie Pappas


This month, the full moon falls on Friday the 13th.

Freaky? Nah, probably not.

Despite many myths, the full moon does not actually embolden criminals, bring about births or make people mad, studies show. And while Friday the 13th superstitions may be well entrenched, there’s nothing particularly special about a full moon falling on this date.

This Friday’s full moon will be the lowest in the sky this year, however, since it will occur so close to the summer solstice. You can watch this freaky full moon rising in a live webcast on Live Science, beginning at 9:30 p.m. EDT June 12.

Strawberry moon

The June full moon is nicknamed the “Strawberry Moon,” a moniker that goes back to the Algonquin Native American tribe, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. June is strawberry season, and the full moon would have traditionally coincided with the harvest.

The June full moon is frequently the one nearest to the summer solstice, which falls on June 21 this year. Because of a neat bit of galactic geometry, this means the full moon on Friday will be the lowest in the sky of any in 2014.

Here’s how it works: The Earth rotates on a tilted axis; in June — summer in the Northern Hemisphere — the North Pole is tilted about 23.5 degrees toward the sun, while the South Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun. On the solstice, the sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator.

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