For any fellow sky gazers like me, make a note somewhere or ask Siri to remind you. You don’t want to miss beholding the February “Snow Moon” this year. It’s set to be at peak illumination in our night skies on February 16 this year.
Why is the February super moon called the “Snow Moon?”
The Farmer’s Almanac says the names of super moons come from a variety of sources, “including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources. Traditionally, each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, not just to the full Moon itself.”
As far as “super moons” go, the February “snow moon” tends to not get the press that some of the others do. But we’re not sure why because the snow moon is often one of the most bright and brilliant of them all.
Think “bright and beaming” for this one. In fact, experts say that simply using binoculars to view the moon may seem unbearably bright. Although, it shouldn’t cause any harm to your eyes, it may be difficult to look for very long and you very likely will have trouble noticing any of the darker spots on the moon.
The name “snow moon” came from the fact that, traditionally February tends to be the snowiest month of the year–in the United States, at least.
Why is that? Well, the February full moon, a.k.a. “snow moon,” will appear around 10 percent bigger than usual because this is the point at which it is closest in proximity to the Earth than any other time this year, due to where it will be in its orbit.
The Farmers’ Almanac claims “February’s full Snow Moon reaches peak illumination at 11:59 A.M. EST on Wednesday, February 16. For the best view of this Moon, look for it that night or the night before; it will drift above the horizon in the east around sunset and reach its highest point in the sky around midnight.”
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