Category Archives: FULL MOONS

Full Wolf Moon rises on Thursday, January 28, 2021, at 2:18 P.M. EST

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THE FULL WOLF MOON
THE FULL WOLF MOON

WHY IS IT CALLED THE FULL WOLF MOON?

The full Moon names used by The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from a number of places, 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.

It’s thought that January’s full Moon came to be known as the Wolf Moon because wolves were more often heard howling at this time. It was traditionally believed that wolves howled due to hunger during winter, but we know today that wolves howl for other reasons. Howling and other wolf vocalizations are generally used to define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, and coordinate hunting.

Alternative January Moon Names

Another fitting name for this full Moon is the Center Moon. Used by the Assiniboine people, it refers to the idea that this Moon roughly marks the middle of the winter season.

Other traditional names for the January Moon emphasize the harsh coldness of the season: Cold Moon (Cree), Frost Exploding Moon (Cree), Freeze Up Moon (Algonquin), Severe Moon (Dakota), and Hard Moon (Dakota). See all 12 months of Full Moon names and their meanings.

Here’s a video for January’s Full Wolf Moon narrated by Amy Nieskens

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FULL COLD MOON Tuesday, December 29, 2020, at 10:30 P.M. EST

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Full Cold Moon
Full Cold Moon

From The Old Farmer’s Almanac

FULL MOON FOR DECEMBER 2020
BUNDLE UP FOR DECEMBER’S FULL COLD MOON!
The Old Farmer’s Almanac
By The Editors
November 29, 2020

December’s Cold Moon reaches peak illumination on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, at 10:30 P.M. EST.

Start looking for the full Moon just before sunset as it begins to peek above the horizon. To find the exact time that it will appear in your area, consult our Moonrise Calculator.

What makes this full Moon special? It’s most distinctive for its high trajectory across the sky, which results in the full Moon sitting above the horizon for a longer period of time.

WHY IS IT CALLED THE COLD MOON?
The Moon names we use in The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from Native American, Colonial American, or other traditional sources passed down through generations. A variety of Native American societies traditionally used the monthly Moons and nature’s corresponding signs as a calendar to track the seasons.

Today, December’s full Moon is most commonly known as the Cold Moon—a Mohawk name that conveys the frigid conditions of this time of year, when cold weather truly begins to grip us.

Other names that allude to the cold and snow include Drift Clearing Moon (Cree), Frost Exploding Trees Moon (Cree), Moon of the Popping Trees (Oglala), Hoar Frost Moon (Cree), Snow Moon (Haida, Cherokee), and Winter Maker Moon (Western Abenaki).
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Read more…

NASA: “Christmas Star” Returns Tonight After 800 Years

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NASA: Christmas Star
Saturn, top, and Jupiter, below, are seen after sunset from Shenandoah National Park, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Luray, Virginia. The two planets are drawing closer to each other in the sky as they head towards a “great conjunction” on December 21, where the two giant planets will appear a tenth of a degree apart.
Credits: NASA/ Bill Ingalls

Saturn, top, and Jupiter, below, are seen after sunset from Shenandoah National Park, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Luray, Virginia. The two planets are drawing closer to each other in the sky as they head towards a “great conjunction” on December 21, where the two giant planets will appear a tenth of a degree apart.
Credits: NASA/ Bill Ingalls

The ‘Great’ Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

Skywatchers are in for an end-of-year treat. What has become known popularly as the “Christmas Star” is an especially vibrant planetary conjunction easily visible in the evening sky over the next two weeks as the bright planets Jupiter and Saturn come together, culminating on the night of Dec. 21.

In 1610, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope to the night sky, discovering the four moons of Jupiter – Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. In that same year, Galileo also discovered a strange oval surrounding Saturn, which later observations determined to be its rings. These discoveries changed how people understood the far reaches of our solar system.

Thirteen years later, in 1623, the solar system’s two giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn, traveled together across the sky. Jupiter caught up to and passed Saturn, in an astronomical event known as a “Great Conjunction.”

“You can imagine the solar system to be a racetrack, with each of the planets as a runner in their own lane and the Earth toward the center of the stadium,” said Henry Throop, astronomer[sic] in the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “From our vantage point, we’ll be able to be to see Jupiter on the inside lane, approaching Saturn all month and finally overtaking it on December 21.”

The planets regularly appear to pass each other in the solar system, with the positions of Jupiter and Saturn being aligned in the sky about once every 20 years.

What makes this year’s spectacle so rare, then? It’s been nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night, as it will for 2020, allowing nearly everyone around the world to witness this “great conjunction.”

The closest alignment will appear just a tenth of a degree apart and last for a few days. On the 21st, they will appear so close that a pinkie finger at arm’s length will easily cover both planets in the sky. The planets will be easy to see with the unaided eye by looking toward the southwest just after sunset.

From our vantage point on Earth the huge gas giants will appear very close together, but they will remain hundreds of millions of miles apart in space. And while the conjunction is happening on the same day as the winter solstice, the timing is merely a coincidence, based on the orbits of the planets and the tilt of the Earth.

“Conjunctions like this could happen on any day of the year, depending on where the planets are in their orbits,” said Throop. “The date of the conjunction is determined by the positions of Jupiter, Saturn, and the Earth in their paths around the Sun, while the date of the solstice is determined by the tilt of Earth’s axis. The solstice is the longest night of the year, so this rare coincidence will give people a great chance to go outside and see the solar system.”
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Want to learn when and where to look up? Join Throop as he talks about the “Great Conjunction” on #NASAScience Live Thursday, Dec. 17. Submit your questions by using #askNASA. The NASA Science Live episode will air live at 3 p.m. EST Thursday on NASA Television and the agency’s website, along with the NASA Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope channels.

For those who would like to see this phenomenon for themselves, here’s what to do:

Find a spot with an unobstructed view of the sky, such as a field or park. Jupiter and Saturn are bright, so they can be seen even from most cities.
An hour after sunset, look to the southwestern sky. Jupiter will look like a bright star and be easily visible. Saturn will be slightly fainter and will appear slightly above and to the left of Jupiter until December 21, when Jupiter will overtake it and they will reverse positions in the sky.
The planets can be seen with the unaided eye, but if you have binoculars or a small telescope, you may be able to see Jupiter’s four large moons orbiting the giant planet.
Each night, the two planets will appear closer low in the southwest in the hour after sunset as illustrated in the below graphic:

Sky Chart
NASA: “Christmas Star”

NASA.gov/feature/the-great-conjunction-of-jupiter-and-saturn

There Will Be A Full Beaver Moon Monday, Nov 30 @ 4:30 A.M. EST

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Sorry punk!

Full Beaver Moon
Full Beaver Moon

November’s full Beaver Moon rises on Monday, November 30. Learn when to spot it in your area and the meaning behind this Moon’s name.

THERE WILL BE A FULL BEAVER MOON MONDAY, NOV 30 @ 4:30 A.M. EST.

Plus, on November 29, 2020: [there will be a] Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon. A penumbral eclipse is a type of lunar eclipse. Penumbral eclipses occur when the Moon enters only the faint outer edge of Earth’s shadow (called the penumbra), which causes the Moon to appear slightly darker than usual. The effect is so slight that a penumbral eclipse can be hard to recognize unless you know to look for it! This eclipse is visible from North America. The Moon will enter the penumbra at 2:30 A.M. EST on November 30 (11:30 P.M. PST on November 29) and leave the penumbra at 6:56 A.M. EST (3:56 A.M. PST) on November 30.

WHEN IS THE NEXT ECLIPSE? | SOLAR AND LUNAR ECLIPSE DATES

WHEN TO SEE NOVEMBER’S FULL MOON
The Beaver Moon reaches peak illumination in the early morning hours of Monday, November 30, at 4:30 A.M. EST. Of course, it will be very close to full the night before, so plan to look for it starting on Sunday, November 29, just after sunset!

Find out exactly what time the full Moon will appear above the horizon in your area with our Moonrise and Moonset Calculator.

WHY IS IT CALLED THE BEAVER MOON?
November’s full Moon was traditionally called the Beaver Moon by a number of Native Americans and colonial Americans. Many Native American groups used the monthly Moons and nature’s corresponding signs as a calendar to track the seasons.

Why the “Beaver” Moon? This is the time of year when beavers begin to take shelter in their lodges, having laid up sufficient stores of food for the long winter ahead. During the time of the fur trade in North America, it was also the season to trap beavers for their thick, winter-ready pelts.

Other November Moon Names
The November full Moon has also been called the Frost Moon and the Freezing Moon. Judging by the chilly weather that becomes more and more common at this time of year, it’s not hard to understand how these names came about! Another name, the Digging (or Scratching) Moon, evokes an image of animals scratching at the fallen leaves, foraging for fallen nuts or remaining shoots of green foliage—with the implication that winter is on its way.

See all Full Moon names and their meanings.

FULL BEAVER MOON VIDEO
An Almanac editor shares more facts and folklore about November’s Full Beaver Moon. Click below to watch the video.

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August’s Full Sturgeon Moon, will occur on Monday, August 3, 2020 at 9:59 AM Mountain Time

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THE FULL STURGEON MOON
THE FULL STURGEON MOON

Almanac.com / Full Moon August
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August’s full Sturgeon Moon reaches its peak on Monday, August 3, 2020. Learn how this month’s full Moon got such a peculiar name!

The Full Sturgeon Moon

August’s full Moon will appear on the night of Sunday, August 2, before reaching peak illumination at 11:59 A.M. Eastern Time on Monday, August 3. On either of these nights, look toward the southeast after sunset to catch a glimpse of the Sturgeon Moon rising!

Perseid Meteor Shower

Not too long after August’s full Moon, it will be time to keep an eye out for the annual Perseid meteor shower, which lasts from late July to late August. The meteors will reach their maximum in the hours just before dawn (while it’s still dark) between August 11 and 13! Thankfully, the Moon will be in its Last Quarter phase at this time, so the meteors shouldn’t be too washed out to view. Read more about the Perseid meteor shower here.
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August’s Full Sturgeon Moon Video:

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There will be a FULL BUCK MOON July 4, at 10:44 P.M. Mountain Time

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FULL BUCK MOON
FULL BUCK MOON

Forget the fireworks! This year, watch the full Buck Moon rise on the 4th of July instead! Find out why July’s full Moon is called the Buck Moon and learn about the penumbral eclipse that will occur on this date.

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WHEN TO SEE THE FULL MOON IN JULY 2020

Full Buck Moon on the 4th

July’s full Moon will rise after sunset in the evening of Saturday, July 4, before reaching peak illumination at 12:44 A.M. Eastern Time on Sunday, July 5. Look towards the southeast to watch it rise above the horizon.  How fun for our bright satellite to join Independence Day fireworks in the night sky!

Consult our Moonrise and Moonset Calculator to see when the Buck Moon will be visible in your area!

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WHY IS IT CALLED THE FULL BUCK MOON?

Traditionally, the full Moon in July is called the Buck Moon because a buck’s antlers are in full growth mode at this time. This full Moon was also known as the Thunder Moon because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month.

The tradition of naming Moons is rich in history. Here at The Old Farmer’s Almanac, we have long honored the Native American Moon names and the folklore of those who came before us. We follow the full Moon names that were used during Native American and Colonial times to help track the seasons—usually by the Algonquin people who were prominent along the Atlantic Coast and into the interior along the St. Lawrence River and around the Great Lakes.

See all Full Moon names and their meanings.

Watch (Very) Closely for a Penumbral Eclipse

Like last month, this month’s full Moon brings with it a penumbral eclipse, which occurs when the Moon crosses through the faint outer edge of Earth’s shadow (the penumbra), making part of the Moon appear ever-so-slightly darker than usual. Unlike a full lunar or solar eclipse, the visual effect of a penumbral eclipse is usually so minimal that it can be difficult to perceive at all. For this eclipse, only a small portion of the Moon will cross into the penumbra, making it even more difficult to see.

This eclipse will be visible from most of North America, except in the northernmost regions of Canada and Alaska. It will begin at 11:04 P.M. EDT (8:04 P.M. PDT) on July 4 and end at 1:56 A.M. EDT on July 5 (10:56 P.M. PDT on July 4).

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There Will Be A Full Flower Moon May 7 4:45 A.M. Mountain Time

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FULL FLOWER MOON
FULL FLOWER MOON

Almanac.com By The Editors

 May’s full Moon rises on Thursday, May 7! This full Moon will be the last of the three supermoons to occur this year, so don’t miss it! Here’s everything you should know about this month’s full moon, including how it got its name, “The Full Flower Moon.”

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WHEN TO SEE THE FULL MOON IN MAY 2020

May’s full Flower Moon reaches peak illumination at 6:45 A.M. (EDT) on Thursday, May 7. It will be below the horizon at this time, so plan to venture outdoors the night before (Wednesday, May 6) or on Thursday night to get the best view of the bright full Flower Moon! Find out what time the Moon will be visible in your area with our Moonrise and Moonset Calculator.

The Final Supermoon of 2020

This year, we’ve been enjoying a series of spring supermoons, which began with March’s Worm Moon, culminated in April’s Pink Moon, and will finish with May’s Flower Moon on May 7.

When the full Moon appears this month, it will be ever-so-slightly farther away than it was in April and March. May’s full Moon still qualifies as a supermoon, but it won’t be as bright or as big as the others in the series, technically speaking. However, the difference in distance between its orbit and April’s—about 2500 miles—is not much in the grand scale of space, so you will still see a bright, beautiful supermoon!

On average, supermoons are about 7% bigger and about 15% brighter than a typical full Moon. Learn more about supermoons here!*

WHEN TO SEE THE FULL MOON IN MAY 2020

May’s full Flower Moon reaches peak illumination at 6:45 A.M. (EDT) on Thursday, May 7. It will be below the horizon at this time, so plan to venture outdoors the night before (Wednesday, May 6) or on Thursday night to get the best view of the bright full Flower Moon! Find out what time the Moon will be visible in your area with our Moonrise and Moonset Calculator.

The Final Supermoon of 2020

This year, we’ve been enjoying a series of spring supermoons, which began with March’s Worm Moon, culminated in April’s Pink Moon, and will finish with May’s Flower Moon on May 7.

When the full Moon appears this month, it will be ever-so-slightly farther away than it was in April and March. May’s full Moon still qualifies as a supermoon, but it won’t be as bright or as big as the others in the series, technically speaking. However, the difference in distance between its orbit and April’s—about 2500 miles—is not much in the grand scale of space, so you will still see a bright, beautiful supermoon!

On average, supermoons are about 7% bigger and about 15% brighter than a typical full Moon. Learn more about supermoons here!

FULL FLOWER MOON VIDEO

Each month, we will explain the traditional names of the full Moon along with some Moon facts. Click below to watch the video and learn about May’s Full Flower Moon.

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April’s full Pink Moon rises on the night of Tuesday, April 7

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SPOT THE SUPER PINK MOON: A SUPERMOON AND THE FIRST FULL MOON OF SPRING!
SPOT THE SUPER PINK MOON: A SUPERMOON AND THE FIRST FULL MOON OF SPRING!

Almanac.com, By The Editors*

April’s full Moon rises on the night of Tuesday, April 7. Traditionally called the Pink Moon, this full Moon will also be a spectacular supermoon! Here’s everything you should know about the Moon this month, including facts, folklore, and Moon phase dates.

WHEN TO SEE THE FULL MOON IN APRIL 2020

Venture outside on the night of Tuesday, April 7, to catch a glimpse of April’s full Pink Moon. This full Moon—which is a supermoon, the first full Moon of springand the Paschal Full Moon—will be visible after sunset and reach peak illumination at 10:35 P.M. EDT.

For the best view of this lovely spring Moon, find an open area and watch as the Moon rises just above the horizon, at which point it will appear its biggest and take on a golden hue! (Find local Moon rise and set times here.)

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SUPER PINK MOON: THE BIGGEST AND BRIGHTEST SUPERMOON OF THE YEAR

(Note: Before you get your hopes up, this “Super Pink Moon” won’t actually look “super pink”—or any hue of pink, really. The Moon will be its usual golden color near the horizon and fade to a bright white as it glides overhead. Learn why it’s called the Pink Moon below!)

We’re currently in the midst of a series of supermoons, with the first having occurred on March 9 and the last occurring on May 7. That makes April’s full Moon the second supermoon in this series, but certainly not the one to miss.

Thanks to the fact that April’s full Moon will be closer to Earth than either other supermoon in the series, it will be the biggest and brightest full Moon of 2020!

How big and how bright, exactly? On average, supermoons are about 7% bigger and about 15% brighter than a typical full Moon. However, unless you were to see a regular full Moon and a supermoon side by side in the sky, the difference is very difficult to notice. Learn more about supermoons here!

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The First Full Moon of Spring & the Paschal Full Moon

April’s full Moon is the first to occur after the March equinox, which makes it the first full Moon of spring and the Paschal Full Moon. The Paschal Full Moon is the full Moon that determines the date of Easter. Find out more about Easter and Paschal Full Moon here.

WHY IS IT CALLED THE PINK MOON?

Although we wish this name had to do with the color of the Moon, the reality is not quite as mystical or awe-inspiring. In truth, April’s full Moon often corresponded with the early springtime blooms of a certain wildflower native to eastern North America: Phlox subulata—commonly called creeping phlox or moss phlox—which also went by the name “moss pink.”

Thanks to this seasonal association, this full Moon came to be called the Pink Moon!

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Full Worm Moon: March 9, 2020, at 10:48 AM PT

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Full Moon
Full Moon

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From The Old Farmers Almanac.Com

Full Worm Moon – March “As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night.’

‘The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.”

Full Moon Names and Their Meanings

Historically, Native American and other traditional names for full Moons were used to track the seasons. Think of them as “nicknames” for the Moon! See Full Moon names for each month of the year and their meanings.
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The Old Farmers Almanac Full Worm Video

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Super Worm Moon: The First Supermoon of the Year

This full Moon will also be the first of three supermoons in 2020—the other two occurring on April 7 and May 7. Thanks to its supermoon status, this year’s Worm Moon has been named the Super Worm Moon!  Let’s just hope that the worms don’t take that to heart.

“Supermoon” is the popular nickname given to a full Moon that coincides with perigee, which is the point in the Moon’s orbit of Earth where it’s closest to our planet.

While at perigee, the full Moon appears a bit brighter and about 7% larger than a typical full Moon. However, don’t go out on the night of March 9 expecting to see a Moon that’s noticeably more massive. Unless you were to see them side by side, the differences between a supermoon and a regular full Moon can be very difficult to perceive!

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THE FULL SNOW MOON February 9th at 12:34 A.M. MT

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Full Moon
Full Moon

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From The Old Farmer’s Almanac:

“February’s full Moon, called the Full Snow Moon, reaches peak fullness at 2:34 A.M. EST on Sunday, February 9. For the best view of this Moon, look for it on the night of Saturday, February 8; it will rise in the east and reach its highest point in the sky around midnight.”

Check Out the Snow Moon, the First Supermoon of 2020

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“IS FEBRUARY’S FULL MOON A SUPERMOON?”

“You may hear February’s full Moon being called a supermoon. But is it really a supermoon? The answer is that it’s debatable, since it depends on which definition of supermoon you go by.”

“According to the broader definition of the term, which says that a supermoon is a full moon that coincides with the point in the Moon’s monthly orbit where it is closest to Earth, February’s full Moon could arguably be considered a supermoon by some, since the Moon will be closer than it normally is. By this definition, there are also supermoons in March, April, and May this year—all of which will be closer to Earth than February’s full Moon.”

“However, if we go by a stricter definition of supermoon, which says that a supermoon is the full moon that comes closest to Earth during the year, then April’s full Moon is the true supermoon of 2020.”

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