Creepy? Full moon rises on Friday the 13th

If you're superstitious or suffer from triskaidekaphobia -- the fear of the number 13 -- you might want to brace yourself for a rare coupling in the wee hours tonight.

A full moon that coincides with Friday the 13th is expected overnight at 12:12 a.m., according to data from the U.S. Naval Observatory, and likely won't happen again for the next 35 years.

The last time it occurred was Oct. 13, 2000, and won't occur again until Aug. 13, 2049.

June's full moon has a variety of names -- Mead Moon, Rose Moon, Strawberry Moon or Honey Moon -- that reflect its southerly declination, since the humidity and haze of the midsummer air appears to give a warmer tint or color to its surface, according to the observatory.


National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Tilley said there's a pretty good chance sky gazers will be able to catch a glimpse of the full moon, if they are willing to stay up past midnight tonight. Tilley said he's expecting clear skies as midnight approaches tonight, but there's a chance cloud cover coming in from Illinois, Indiana and the Wisconsin could diminish visibility.

"It's going to be a close call," Tilley said. "It's not a total loss, but don't be surprised if you see some clouds obscuring the sky."

When the moon reappears Friday night it will be a waning gibbous with 97% of it illuminated.

Is Friday the 13th really an unlucky day?

While some people might spend the day trying to avoid walking under a ladder or breaking mirrors, Friday the 13th has historically been a lucky day for Michigan Lottery Mega Millions Players. Twelve lottery players have won more than $29.5 million in big prizes over the past five years.

For one woman, Kalamazoo resident Kendall Warren, Friday, May 13, 2011 proved to be one of the luckiest days of her life when she won a $27 million jackpot. This Friday's drawing could also be a lucky -- and lucrative -- pay day for a Michigan Lottery player, with a jackpot of $66 million.

Manu Malhotra, the medical director of Henry Ford Health System's emergency room department, said many people believe Friday the 13th tends to keep hospital staff busier than normal, but that's just not the case.

"The truth of the matter is, it independently doesn't make a difference," he said. "It tends to be busier on a Monday than Friday the 13th."

Malhotra, who's been an ER doctor for 13 years, said while he understands why some might be leery of the day, he isn't fazed by the superstitious day.

"I've seen plenty of strange things come through the emergency department," Malhotra said, while chuckling. "But it's never been restricted to Friday the 13th."


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