Got your snow shovels ready? February’s Full Snow Moon rises on the night of February 8 and peaks in the early hours of February 9. Why is it called the Full Snow Moon? Find out in our February Moon Guide!
When to See the Full Moon in February 2020
February’s full Moon, called the Full Snow Moon, reaches peak fullness at 2:34 A.M. EST on Sunday, February 9. For the best view of this Moon, look for it on the night of Saturday, February 8; it will rise in the east and reach its highest point in the sky around midnight. See when the Moon will be visible in your area.
Is February’s Full Moon a Supermoon?
You may hear February’s full Moon being called a supermoon. But is it really a supermoon? The answer is that it’s debatable, since it depends on which definition of supermoon you go by.
According to the broader definition of the term, which says that a supermoon is a full moon that coincides with the point in the Moon’s monthly orbit where it is closest to Earth, February’s full Moon could arguably be considered a supermoon by some, since the Moon will be closer than it normally is. By this definition, there are also supermoons in March, April, and May this year—all of which will be closer to Earth than February’s full Moon.
However, if we go by a stricter definition of supermoon, which says that a supermoon is the full moon that comes closest to Earth during the year, then April’s full Moon is the true supermoon of 2020.
Moon Phases for February 2020
(All dates and times are Easter Standard Time. See the Almanac’s Moon Phase Calendar for times in your city/state.)
|First Quarter: February 1, 8:43 P.M.|
|Full Moon: February 9, 2:34 A.M.|
|Last Quarter: February 15, 5:19 P.M.|
|New Moon: February 23, 10:33 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 February 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)
- 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 2020
Below are the Best Days for activities, based on the Moon’s sign and phase in February.
Aboveground crops: 23–25
Belowground crops: 14, 15
For Setting Eggs
2–4, 12, 13
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!