Anotheris set to grace the celestial stage this week, and it’s the largest and brightest our natural satellite will appear all year.
We get a super moon when the moon is full or nearly full and also at its closest point to Earth along its slightly elliptical orbit. This close approach is called perigee by astronomers. In 2019, there are three super moons and they fall in the first three months of the year.
You may recall in January we had the spectacle of the “” in which a lunar eclipse or “blood moon” coincided with a super moon and the first full moon of the calendar year, traditionally called the wolf moon.
The term “snow moon” is the historic name given to the second full moon of winter by certain Native American tribes in the US. It is called the snow moon due to snowfall during this time of year. Heavy snowfall is also the reason for its alternative name – “hunger moon”, due to lack of food availability. Some of its other names are ice moon and storm moon.
This Tuesday night will bring the “super snow moon.” Due to a number of nuances in the interactions between the sun, Earth and moon, the distance between us and and each super moon varies a bit. It just so happens that this week’s perigee will be about 362 miles (583 kilometers) closer to us than last month’s super moon, according to NASA.
The Supermoon of February 19th, 2019, will be the largest, brightest, closest full Moon that Earth will experience until 2026. If you have clear skies at all before sunrise in the morning or after sunset in the evening on Tuesday, you owe it to yourself to check it out. The wonders of the Universe rarely hit so close to home. Bring your eyes and a sense of wonder, and don’t forget to look up.