Tonight is Hungry Moon! Why is February 24 Full Moon also called Snow Moon, Micromoon?

Call it the “Snow Moon,” the “Hunger Moon,” or the “Minimoon”—the second full moon in February 2024 has many names. The full moon will appear on February 24. According to NASA, the next full moon will be Saturday morning, February 24, 2024, when it will “appear opposite the Sun (at Earth-based longitude) at 7:30 a.m. EST”.

This full moon occurs when the moon is on the opposite side of the earth from the sun. The “snow moon” will be the smallest of the year as it rises around dusk on Saturday, Live Science reported.

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Most of the time, the moon is illuminated by sunlight, Space.com explained. “Sometimes, the Moon's orbit takes it inside the Earth's shadow. The February full moon will lose the Earth's shadow because the Moon's orbit is tilted five degrees to the plane of the Earth's orbit, so the Earth will not be directly between the Sun and the Moon,” the report said.

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Here's why this full moon goes by so many names

The full moon on February 24 is called a “minimoon” or “micromoon” because “it is a little more than a day past apogee (when the moon is at its farthest from Earth in this orbit) and is a micromoon, as opposed to a supermoon,” according to NASA. said.

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The origin of the name “Snow Moon” dates back to the 1930s when Maine farmers' almanacs began publishing “Indian” names for the full moon. According to this almanac, because of the full moon in February, the tribes of the Northeastern United States called it the snow or storm moon because of the heavy snowfall during this season.

“Bad weather and heavy snowstorms made hunting difficult, so the moon was also called the Hungry Moon,” NASA said.

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Some also list the Wolf Moon as an old European name for this full moon. Another European name is Candles Moon, which is associated with Candles on February 2nd, although it also applies to last month's Full Moon, which was closer to Candles.

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