If you’re looking for the perfect night to take your other special stargazing, you’re not going to have to wait any longer than this Tuesday, February 19, when the moon is going to be the biggest for the year.
On the night of February 19, if you look up at the sky, you’ll be able to see the “super snow moon,” which gets its name because the February month generally has the heaviest snowfall. According to the official website of NASA, supermoons occur when “the orbit of the moon is nearest to Earth (perigee) at the same moment it is complete.”
“When a complete moon appears at perigee [ its nearest point to Earth ] it’s slightly brighter and bigger than a standard complete moon – and that’s where we get a ‘ supermoon ‘,” they clarify, adding that the term was created in 1979.
The full moon of this month will be the fullest on Tuesday, 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter, but from Sunday you will also be able to see it. According to EarthSky, with “only” 221,734 miles from Earth, this Tuesday’s full moon will be the nearest of the year.
This is the year’s second supermoon, the last being on January 21. That last, called the super blood wolf moon, was an even more strange and rare event as it occurred during a lunar eclipse that gave a red glow to the moon (pictured below).
The super blood wolf moon lunar eclipse of January was not something that occurs every year, as several natural phenomena had to align to make it occur. It was a lunar eclipse that occurred simultaneously with the supermoon, giving it a red-ish glow, hence the ma, e “blood,” while the “wolf” refers to it that occurred during the month of January when wolves hurled at night long ago. People from all over the globe camped out to catch a glimpse, including celebrities.
There’s no doubt that individuals will camp out to watch the year’s largest moon as well.
The next supermoon of the year will be on March 20, and it will take place on the same day as the vernal equinox marking the beginning of the spring. It will also be the last supermoon of the year, known as the “Full Worm Moon.”