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Spectacular Full Snow Moon Will Grace the Winter Sky This Week

February's full Moon, known as the Snow Moon, will offer us a spectacle on the winter skies for three days in a row. It will reach peak illumination on Wednesday, February 16th, and it won't be alone – the bright star Regulus will tag along on the west-northwestern horizon.
Full Moon 6 photos
A July 2012 Moonrise over Mt. Everts near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National ParkFull MoonFull MoonFull MoonSnow Moon over Earth
Winter is halfway through. But that doesn't mean we don't get to enjoy celestial events. The Moon will appear full in our skies for three days, from Tuesday morning until Thursday night, according to NASA. It will shine the brightest on Wednesday, at 11:57 a.m. EST. But in many areas across the U.S., the best time to watch the Moon will be in the evening.

So how did it get its name? In the 1930s, the Maine Farmers' Almanac began publishing Native American names for these occurrences. Over time, more and more people started to use these names for each full Moon of the year.

The tribes of what is today the northeastern part of the U.S. called the February Moon the Snow Moon because of the heavy snow that falls around this time. However, other tribes also named it the Eagle Moon, the Bear Moon, or the Raccoon Moon, connecting it to different animals.

They also associated the February Moon with scarcity since the heavy snowstorms made hunting difficult and, as a result, named our satellite the Hunger Moon or the Bony Moon.

If you're planning to go out and snap some pictures of the Snow Moon, NASA advises you to stay warm and watch out for snowstorms. And if the weather is clear in your area, all that's left for you to do is look up and enjoy the stunning view.

The next full Moon, called the Worm Moon, will rise just two days ahead of the spring equinox on March 18th. It will reach its peak at 3:18 a.m. EDT and will appear full for three days, offering lucky skywatchers a wonderful spectacle throughout the weekend.

 
 
 
 
 

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