Friday The 13th Full Moon And Solar Flares Headline A Week Of Freaky Space Weather

Friday The 13th Full Moon
The Friday the 13th Full Moon occurred in the early morning hours of Friday. Reuters

Friday the 13th is shrouded with many superstitions,  and is the perfect day to watch scary movies. What's more, this time the moon and the sun are upping the stakes, as there is a Friday the 13th full moon while solar flares from earlier in the week may lead to some disturbances on Earth.

Technically, the Friday the 13th full moon occurred in the early hours of Friday, around 12:11 a.m. EDT, notes Slooh. If you missed June's full moon, also known as the honey moon, don't worry too much as Friday's waning gibbous moon will be 97 percent full and very close to Earth, notes USA Today.

The moon is at its closest approach to Earth in June on Friday night, notes Slooh, which makes the Friday the 13th full moon, and the subsequent waning gibbous, appear much larger. The next full moon to fall on Friday the 13th will occur on Aug. 13, 2049, notes ResearchManiacs.com, while the next full honey moon to fall on the 13th will occur in 2098, notes Universe Today.

To make Friday the 13th a bit more exciting, the sun has seen an increased level of activity. On Tuesday, the sun emitted two X-class solar flares followed by another X-class solar flare on Wednesday. According to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center, eight M-class and several C-class solar flares have erupted from the sun in the last 48 hours.

While none of the associated coronal mass ejections were predicted to directly hit Earth, the residual turbulence could lead to some minor disturbances and potential radio blackouts. The radiation emitted from the sun cannot penetrate Earth's atmosphere but can affect satellite and communication systems.

Per the SWPC's post on Facebook, "In the case of the CME, the boat would be the main plasma cloud and the boat's wake would be the shock. So, since the 'boat' will miss the Earth, we sometimes expect some of the 'wake' to give us a glancing blow. The 'wake' is expected to come close enough to the Earth to excite the Earth's magnetosphere slightly. Fortunately (or unfortunately for our aurora watchers) the effects shouldn't be enough to warrant any warnings or alerts." The SWPC will continue to monitor solar activity and could issue a warning or alert based on new solar flares.

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