From The Old Farmer’s Almanac
FULL SNOW MOON
February’s full Moon is traditionally called the Full Snow Moon because usually the heaviest snows fall in February. This name dates back to the Native Americans during Colonial times when the Moons were a way of tracking the seasons. And the Native Americans were right. On average, February is the USA’s snowiest month, according to data from the National Weather Service.
Hunting becomes very difficult, and so some Native American tribes called this the Hunger Moon. Other Native American tribes called this Moon the “Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire Moon” (Wishram Native Americans), the “No Snow in the Trails Moon” (Zuni Native Americans), and the “Bone Moon” (Cherokee Native Americans). The Bone Moon meant that there was so little food that people gnawed on bones and ate bone marrow soup.
Here’s The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s Full Moon Video for February narrated by Amy Nieskens
Friday night, February 10, 2017 brings the Full Snow Moon—as well as a penumbra lunar eclipse and the close approach of a comet. Get more details.
Read what Almanac astronomer Bob Berman has to say about this “triple treat” in this week’s Amazing Sky column, “Friday Night: Spectacle or Bust?”
This Week: A Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – What Is It?
We have an eclipse of the full Moon scheduled for Friday night, February 10th, but it’s not likely that the astronomical community at large is going to get very excited about it. Why? Because this eclipse is actually a “penumbral” lunar eclipse.
The Earth casts not one, but two types of shadows out into space: an umbra, the shadow directly around it, and a penumbra (see graphic, below). When the Moon passes into the umbra, we can readily see a dark and very distinct outline of the Earth’s circular shadow cast upon Moon’s disk. The penumbra, on the other hand, casts a much fainter and far less distinct shadow, which is far more difficult to perceive and as such might not immediately catch your eye read more…