Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Jan Harris
Deputy Group Editor
1:00 AM 23rd February 2024

The Snow Moon Rises

Image by Anja from Pixabay
Image by Anja from Pixabay
The February Snow moon will peak on Saturday 24 February but you can probably see it in the sky for a couple of days either side of the peak, that is if the sky stays cloud-free.

It is called a Snow moon because it appears during one of the coldest periods of the year, along with heavy snowfall, as often February can be the coldest and snowiest month of the year.

Some Native American tribes gave the February moon the name of Hunger Moon because of the scarce food resources and difficult winter hunting conditions.

Tips for seeing a full moon

Moons rise in the east and set in the west
If viewing from inside your house it is best to turn off lights so as to view the night sky
If outside it is best to go somewhere high so you can see the moon rise above the horizon
Viewing outside is the best and away from street lights and light pollution

Why a full moon?

Image by Henryk Niestrój from Pixabay
Image by Henryk Niestrój from Pixabay
Full moons occur every 29.5 days or so as the moon moves to the side of Earth directly opposite the sun, reflecting the sun's rays off its full face and appearing as a brilliant, perfectly circular disk.

A full moon occurs when the moon's earth-facing side is completely illuminated by the sun. Scientists say that when you see the moon looking really large as it rises in the sky your brain is actually playing a trick on you.

There are many reasons as to why this is, but the main theory is that when the moon is low on the horizon it can be compared to earthly things, like buildings and trees, and this is why it seems huge.

Full moons in 2024

Wolf Moon - 25 January
Snow Moon - 24 February
Worm Moon - 25 March
Pink Moon - 24 April
Flower Moon - 23 May
Strawberry Moon - 22 June
Buck Moon - 21 July
Sturgeon Moon - 19 August (Blue Moon)
Harvest Moon - 18 September (supermoon)
Hunter’s Moon - 17 October
Beaver Moon - 15 November
Cold Moon - 15 December

Many of these ancient moon names have been given based on the behaviour of the plants, animals, or weather during that month.

It is said that they were the names given by Native American tribes and included into our modern calendar. However the full moon names we now use also have Anglo-Saxon and Germanic roots.

Photo by Rob Harris
Photo by Rob Harris
Some interesting moon facts:

The moon's diameter is 2,160 miles
The sun and moon are not the same size
The moon's surface is dark
The moon has quakes
There is water on the moon
The moon has a very thin atmosphere
A person would weigh less on the moon
The dark side of the moon is a myth
We only see the near side of the moon, the other side is the far side

Sleep and a full moon

Image by Peter Schmidt from Pixabay
Image by Peter Schmidt from Pixabay
Because the moon affects the tides, it is often said that full moons can also affect us. Issues with our immune system can be caused by lack of sleep or disturbed sleep. Some people find falling asleep harder during a full moon along with less time spent in a deep sleep. This lack of sleep can sometimes cause people to have worse headaches often called 'moon migraines'.

The next full moon will rise on the 25 March and is the Worm Moon