The Snow Moon will shine brightly during the nights of February 2023. The second full moon of the year will triumphantly cross the ecliptic and position itself at the zenith of the celestial dome. Find out which day the Earth’s natural satellite will have its disk fully illuminated and how you can observe it.
February 2023: Snow Full Moon
The astronomical calendar of February 2023 has been very active thanks to the passage of the comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) that appeared during the first days of the month. But it isn’t the only astronomical event expected within these days. The February Full Moon will rise in the elliptic, giving us amazing views.
According to NASA, it will be next February 5th when the Moon will position itself behind the Earth from the solar perspective, which will make it receive the rays of the star directly while being in front of the nighttime side of the planet.
Thanks to this alignment, we will be able to see the February Full Moon in the sky, a full moon that is called Snow Moon. The full phase will officially enter on February 5th at 12:30 PM Central Time, and its disk will be fully illuminated by solar rays for the next three days.
Why Is it Called Snow Moon?
All the full moons of the different months receive a specific name. In the case of the February full Moon, the designated name is Snow Moon. These names come from the traditional Native American people, who lived in complete harmony with nature and knew the cycles of Mother Earth. They knew that the February full moon, was the time when the strongest snowfalls of the entire winter occurred, and that is why it was named Snow Moon.
Later on, the media published the list of names of the full moons given by the Native American people, and since then, they have been popularized around the world.
How to Watch the Snow Moon of February 2023?
As winter advances, periods of light become longer and longer as the planet heads toward the equinox. That is why the sunsets are a little late each day. On Sunday, February 5th, the morning twilight will begin at 6:11 AM Central Time, while the sun will fully rise at 7:11 AM.
The solar noon will arrive at 12:22 PM, with a maximum sun altitude of 35.29º. It will not be until 5:34 PM that the sun will start to set in the west, and finally the evening twilight will occur at 6:34 PM. After this, look to the east to admire the Moon as close to the horizon as possible, which is when it seems to be the largest.
The natural satellite will advance through the celestial ecliptic in the middle of the Cancer and Leo constellations, it is possible that with its brightness it will eclipse the closest stars to it; however, you can still admire the planets that will make their appearance in the February skies, check out our guide to admire the planetary conjunctions.
Story originally published in Spanish in Ecoosfera.