The Full Moon for February is the best supermoon of 2019. Traditionally, this Moon was called the Snow Moon. Find out why—plus, see more Moon facts and folklore.
The February “Super Snow” Moon
February’s full Moon peaks on Tuesday morning, February 19 but will appear full the night before and after its peak to the casual stargazer.
For North American time zones, the full Moon crests at 11:53 a.m. AST, 10:53 a.m. EST, 9:53 a.m. CST, 8:53 a.m. MST, 7:53 a.m. PST, 6:53 a.m. AKST and 5:53 a.m. HST.
It will also be a so-called “supermoon,” which means the Moon is at its closest point in its orbit to Earth. In fact, the February’s full Moon is the nearest, largest, and brightest full Moon of the year! Technically, it’s the second of three supermoons to occur in 2019 (January, February, March).
Do supermoons truly appear brighter?
Technically, yes. Practically, it depends on your point of comparison. The supermoon’s diameter is indeed about 7% greater than an ordinary full Moon and 14% greater than a full Moon when it’s at its furthest point in its orbit to Earth (a “micromoon”).
A supermoon exceeds the brightness of an ordinary Moon by 15%! When compared to a micromoon, the supermoon is 30% brighter!
That said, it’s debatable whether you can discern the difference in appearance with the naked eye.
Moon Phases for February 2019
(All dates and times are ET. See the Almanac’s Moon Phase Calendar for your city/state.)
|New Moon: February 4, 4:03 P.M.|
|First Quarter: February 12, 5:26 P.M.|
|Full Moon: February 19, 10:53 A.M.|
|Last Quarter: February 26, 6:27 A.M.|
Full Moon Names for February
In ancient times, people across Europe and Native Americans used the Moon to track the seasons. In the lunar calendar, names were often given to each month’s Moon. (If this sounds odd to you, remember that our current calendar is based on the Sun and the solar year!)
Traditionally, the Moon we see in February is called the Snow Moon due to the typically heavy snowfall of February. On average, February is the USA’s snowiest month, according to data from the National Weather Service.
Other Full Moon names include: the “Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire Moon” (from the Wishram people of the Pacific Northwest), the “No Snow in the Trails Moon” (Zuni, of the Southwest), and the “Bone Moon” (Cherokee, of the Southeast). The Bone Moon meant that there was so little food that people gnawed on bones and ate bone marrow soup.
February Snow Moon Video
Each month, we will explain the traditional names of the Full Moon along with some fascinating Moon facts. In this video, learn about the Snow Moon, “Moon weather,” and the horns of the new crescent Moon. Click below to watch the video.
Best Days in February 2019
Below are the Best Days for activities, based on the Moon’s sign and phase in February.
- Aboveground crops: 15, 16
- Belowground crops: 23–25
For Setting Eggs:
- 13, 14, 22, 23
Moon Facts and Folklore
- On February 6, 1971, Alan Shepard became the first man to hit a golf ball on the Moon.
- Did you know that the Moon’s diameter is 2,160 miles? This is less than the width of the United States (approximately 3,000 miles), and 0.27 of Earth’s diameter (7,926 miles).
- Wolves have howled at the Moon for centuries, yet it is still there.
- And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the Moon.
—Edward Lear, English poet (1812-88)
Share your thoughts about the February Moon below!