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The Sky Tonight Update: Full Moon, Supermoon, Feb. 18

full moon, supermoon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated.  There’s a full moon starting Tuesday morning and it’s the brightest one of the year.It’s called a super snow moon. It’s a combination of two things – a snow moon and a supermoon.

This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Snow Moon because the heaviest snows usually fell during this time of the year. Since hunting is difficult, this moon has also been known by some tribes as the Full Hunger Moon, since the harsh weather made hunting difficult. This is also the second of three supermoons for 2019.

The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

When does the Super Snow Moon Start?

The Super Snow Moon starts with a moonrise over the Atlantic Ocean on Florida’s east coast at 5:21 p.m Eastern Standard Time on Monday, February 18.

The moon is technically at its fullest (99.7% full) at at 10:53 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (9:53 a.m. Central Standard Time) on February 19 but will be out of view at that time for the United States east coast.  Instead, you will have to wait for moonrise, which will occur between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. local time (for precise timing go here).

When is the best time to watch the Super Snow Moon?

Low-hanging moons near the horizon appear the biggest to humans. So, the February supermoon will appear biggest to the naked eye in Louisiana:

During and just after the moonrise at 4:21 p.m. on February 18.

Just before and during the moonset at 6:03 a.m. on February 19.

During and just after the moonrise at 5:31 p.m. on February 19.

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