Watch February's super snow moon, year's brightest
20 February, 2019, 05:53 | Author: Emilio Conner
This February's full moon reaches its exact full phase closer to the time of perigee than any other full moon this year, hence the year's closest supermoon. While it won't be at its fullest, you can catch the jaw-dropping sights starting on Sunday, February 17.
This is a popularised term for what astronomers call a "perigean" full moon.
According to USA Today, because of the time of year in the U.S., the event is called the snow moon, a Native American nickname to the monthly events, like harvest moon for September and strawberry moon in June and sturgeon moon in August, giving it the full name Super Snow Moon. This means the Moon is deeper inside the umbra shadow and therefore may appear darker. Recently, stargazers have also been using nicknames from The Farmer's Almanac to describe each month's full moons.
'The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. It was particularly special because it marks the closest the moon will be to Earth for the next seven years.
Due to an optical illusion, the moon appears larger to us the closer it is to the horizon. The farthest point of the ellipse is called the apogee.
You should be able to see it best once it rises at 5.11pm that evening, so here's hoping for clear skies.
The first supermoon was the "Blood Wolf Super Moon" on January 21 and the third will take place on March 21.
The moniker "supermoon" isn't scientific; it was introduced in 1979 by the astrologer Richard Nolle and is now used in pop culture to describe a moon that is brighter than usual, according to NASA. As a result, the distance between the Moon and Earth varies throughout the month and the year.
A micromoon is so named because it looks smaller and less bright, appearing about 14 per cent smaller than normal.
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