The Full Moon for February is the best supermoon of 2019. Traditionally, this Moon was called the Snow Moon. Find out why—plus, see more Moon facts and folklore.
THE FEBRUARY “SUPER SNOW” MOON
February’s full Moon peaks on Tuesday, February 19, at 10:53 A.M.EST (15:53 UTC), but will appear full the night before and after its peak to the casual stargazer.
It will also be a so-called “supermoon,” which means the Moon is at its closest point in its orbit to Earth.
In fact, the February’s full Moon is the nearest, largest, and brightest full Moon of the year! Technically, it’s the second of three supermoons to occur in 2019 (January, February, March).
In ancient times, people across Europe and Native Americans used the Moon to track the seasons. In the lunar calendar, names were often given to each month’s Moon. (If this sounds odd to you, remember that our current calendar is based on the Sun and the solar year!)
Traditionally, the Moon we see in February is called the Snow Moon due to the typically heavy snowfall of February. On average, February is the USA’s snowiest month, according to data from the National Weather Service.
Other Full Moon names include: the “Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire Moon” (from the Wishram people of the Pacific Northwest), the “No Snow in the Trails Moon” (Zuni, of the Southwest), and the “Bone Moon” (Cherokee, of the Southeast). The Bone Moon meant that there was so little food that people gnawed on bones and ate bone marrow soup.
Do supermoons truly appear brighter? Technically, yes. Practically, it depends on your point of comparison. The supermoon’s diameter is indeed about 7% greater than an ordinary full Moon and 14% greater than a full Moon when it’s at its furthest point in its orbit to Earth (a “micromoon”).And a supermoon exceeds the brightness of an ordinary Moon by 15%! When compared to a micromoon, the supermoon is 30% brighter!