With thirteen full moons, two supermoons, and a blue moon during 2020, skygazers have plenty of celestial beauty to look forward to this year. If you missed last month’s full Wolf Moon Eclipse, you can catch the full "Snow Moon” lighting up the night sky this weekend.
Why is it called the Snow Moon? You guessed it—snow. In ancient times, it was common to track changing seasons by the lunar month instead of the solar year, which is what our current calendar is based on. According to timeanddate.com, Native American tribes and people across Europe used to name months based on attributes they associated with seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. So the full moon in February is called the Snow Moon because of heavy snowfall that typically occurs throughout the month. It was also called the Hunger Moon because the winter weather created difficult hunting conditions and scarce food sources.
The best time to see the Snow Moon will be the night of Saturday, Feb. 8, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. It’ll rise in the east, reaching its highest point in the sky around midnight. And at 2:34 a.m. this Sunday, it’ll reach its peak fullness.
While it won’t be the biggest moon of the year like last February's “Super Snow Moon,” this year’s Snow Moon will be the fourth-closest full moon of the year, according to EarthSky. This means it’ll be the fourth-largest and fourth-brightest full moon of 2020. So wrap up in your coziest blanket and look up at the night sky this weekend!
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