It only happens once every twenty years or so that the Harvest Moon occurs on Friday the 13th. This year, it's also rare that the Harvest Moon makes an appearance in the nighttime sky before the autumn equinox which this year arrives at 2:50 am. Central Standard Time on September 23.
Traditionally, Friday the 13th is considered unlucky by many. The roots of this belief dates back to the Last Supper, attended by guests. Since Jesus was crucified the next day, on a Friday, Friday became considered ill-fated. The number thirteen has been considered so unfavorable that some buildings and hotels don't have a thirteenth floor. Friday the 13th has been used in popular media to portray acts of horror, including a series of films. The belief joins other superstitious beliefs like avoiding black cats and walking under ladders.
The history of the Harvest Moon is much brighter. Each fall, during harvest time, farmers from the earliest eras depend on bright moonlight to allow them to continue working in the fields past sunset. A harvest moon offered extra time to harvest crops to store for the winter or bring to market. The moon closest to the autumn equinox became known as The Harvest Moon.
In southwest Missouri, the Harvest Moon will rise around 7:30 p.m. and should be easily visible as it ascends. Although usually a Harvest Moon is larger than normal, this year astronomers say it will be a micro-moon, smaller than in some years.
Skywatchers may want to catch a glimpse of the Harvest Moon tonight since it normally appears after the autumn equinox. The last full moon on Friday the 13th occured on October 13, 2000 and the next won't happen until August 13, 2049.