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On the night of June 12th and continuing into the morning of Friday, the 13th, the famously unlucky day, a full Honey Moon will appear low in the sky ­ the first time this creepy combination has happened in decades.

Slooh will cover the Full Honey Moon live on Thursday, June 12th starting at 6:30 PM PDT / 9:30 PM EDT / 01:30 UTC (6/13) ­ International Times: http://goo.gl/5gyHMz. Slooh will broadcast the event live for two hours from Slooh member controlled observatory sites: (1) off
the west coast of Africa, at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, and (2) the Pontificia Universidad Católica De Chile (PUC) near Santiago, Chile.

Viewers can watch the full Honey Moon broadcast free on Slooh.com. The image stream will be accompanied by discussions led by Slooh host, Geoff Fox, Slooh astronomer, Bob Berman, and Slooh Observatory Engineer, Paul Cox, who will be reporting in live at Slooh’s Canary Islands observatory. Viewers can follow updates on the show by using the hashtag #Sloohhoneymoon.

This will be the most amber or honey colored full moon of 2014, especially when it rises at sunset Thursday evening. Its exact moment of fullness happens a few minutes after midnight EDT ­­ the opening minutes of Friday the 13th. Added to all this, its closest approach of the month unfolds the very next night, so it will also appear unusually large for a full Moon.

Says astronomer Bob Berman, “Is this full Moon of June the true origin of the word honeymoon, since it is amber, and since weddings were traditionally held this month? That phrase dates back nearly half a millennium, to 1552, but one thing has changed: weddings have shifted, and are now most often held in August or September. The idea back then was that a marriage is like the phases of the Moon, with the full Moon being analogous to a wedding. Meaning, it’s the happiest and “brightest” time in a relationship.”

“As for the Friday the 13th,” says Berman, “full Moons land on that date only every 14 years, and a year’s “highest” or “lowest” full Moons hit it much more rarely still. So this coming Honey Moon is very rare indeed.”

As for the origin of its supposed bad luck, the Friday part is obvious ­­ it was the weekday that Christ died. But thirteen is harder to explain. The number is considered downright lucky in some countries. Nor is there any biblical or classical literary work in which thirteen is condemned. Globally, the number most often associated with bad luck is four ­­ probably

because its pronunciation in Mandarin is very similar to how you’d say the word for “death.” Every full Moon rises at around sunset, and also appears unusually large because of the

famous moon illusion. This psycho­optical effect is caused by placement next to distant skyline objects like chimneys, instead of being high and thus dwarfed within the sky’s vastness. However, this Thursday night’s Honey Moon will appear larger than the average Moon, which exaggerates the effect.

As the night progresses, the exact moment of the Honey Moon arrives at 11 minutes after midnight, EDT ­­ the opening hours of Friday the 13th. It will also achieve its highest point in the sky between then and 2 AM EDT, and yet it simply won’t be very high up, since this is also the lowest full moon of the year.

Unusually low. Large. Amber. And its moment of “full” happens on Friday the 13th (04:11 UT). No wonder SLOOH cannot ignore this Honey Moon. It would surely be unlucky not to watch it.

Oddly, there is no official name for this full Moon. Some American colonists and the Algonquins called it the “Full Strawberry Moon,” but that term was used by no other tribe. In any case, the name never stuck, nor became official. We may as well keep it the Honey Moon.