It was unclear Friday night and that made it unclear how many of us in Washington actually saw the Harvest Moon a landmark in the heavens and in popular song. (NASA photo)

Whether we in Washington witnessed it or not, a full moon ascended the skies Friday night, and not just any full moon, but the one known in folklore, farming and popular song as the harvest moon.

But no matter how much any of us might have urged that orb to “shine on, shine on,” clouds apparently veiled it from view.

In many areas, people could gaze aloft, to see Earth’s satellite signifying reassuringly that the laws of nature still prevailed.

But here in the Washington area, for hour after hour on Friday, the sky above us, as described by the National Weather Service, was overcast.

It would have been something to see. In this month’s orbit, the moon was at its farthest point from us, and was known as a micromoon. The date, as many were aware, was Friday the 13th. And it was widely noted that a full harvest moon might not recur on a Friday the 13th for a long time.

Here in the Washington area, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., aware of possible inhibitions, exhorted via Twitter: “don’t let superstitions keep you from going out to see tonight’s full Moon.” But it seemed that not even NASA, which has reached the moon, could keep clouds from covering it.