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Rare Full Moon on Friday the 13th Hits L.A.

Rare Full Moon on Friday the 13th Hits L.A.
Moyan Brenn/Flickr

If you're expecting freaky things to happen tonight, we don't blame you.

A nearly 100-year Friday the 13th full moon is upon us, and Mercury is in retrograde, whatever that means. All we know is this: There's plenty of fodder here for the superstitious.

And while the Los Angeles Police Department doesn't base its policing on the lunar calendar or astrology, the department will have its hands full:

Police will be well-staffed at Staples Center for Game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Kings and the New York Rangers. L.A., which is up 3-1 in the series, could clinch the trophy if it wins the 5 p.m. match-up.

Cops also will be operating not one but two DUI checkpoints on Sunset Boulevard. Howl at the moon, sure, but if they smell alcohol on your breath and you're behind the wheel, look out.

See also: DUI Crackdown Hits Sunset Boulevard Tonight

The full moon is the first on Friday the 13th since 1919. The next one on a Friday the 13th will happen in 2098.

It's also a "honey moon" because, coming so near the Summer Solstice (June 21), the sun is almost as high as it will be all year, and the moon is low, causing the night planet satellite to take on a golden glow from longer wavelengths of light.

The moon might also appear to be larger than normal.

Rare Full Moon on Friday the 13th Hits L.A.
John Wood/Flickr

Meanwhile, Mercury went into retrograde June 7 and will stay there for the rest of the month. If you believe in astrology, this is a big deal. According to the Llewellyn Journal:

The planet Mercury rules communication, travel, contracts, automobiles and such. It goes in a retrograde motion - or motion that makes it appear to be going backwards in the night sky - three times a year for approximately three weeks at a time. When Mercury is retrograde, there's usually much confusion. People forget little things. Delays and frustrations abound. 

So there's that.

But here's the thing, at least as far as the moon goes: For the Western United States, the full moon phase technically started yesterday, and overnight last night was really its peak, even if the lunar calendar gives the phase to Friday the 13th.

So if you want to argue for science, sanity and maybe even good luck, you could tell all your friends at the bar that the freaky full moon they fear is already history.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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