There’s Going to Be a Snow Moon This Week—Here’s What It Is (& How to See It)

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While February is technically the shortest month of the year, it somehow still manages to feel like the longest (we have all the snow to thank for that). So, when we heard that we were getting something called a “snow moon” this week, we weren’t entirely surprised. 

So, what exactly is a snow moon? And how can we see it? Keep reading for everything we know. 

1. What is the snow moon? 

Apparently, every month’s full moon has a different name (this one is snow moon) originating from Native American, Colonial American and European cultures. According to Real Simple, the nicknames were created “based on the weather, harvest, or animal behavior.” Per The Old Farmer's Almanac, February’s full moon nickname most likely has early Native American origins, since the month is known for its snowy weather. 

In addition to the snow moon, there are also a variety of other names given to the February full moon including the hunger moon, bony moon, bald eagle moon, bear moon, groundhog moon and raccoon moon, to name a few. Who knew? 

2. What makes the snow moon special? 

Aside from the name, there’s nothing too special about the snow moon. However, it is actually the first full moon of the Lunar New Year. And according to Time and Date, the snow moon doesn’t appear every year like the full moons of the other months. In fact, every 19 years—the most recent case in 2018—February doesn’t have a full moon and, instead, January and March have two full moons each, called a double Blue Moon.

3. When can I see the snow moon?

The snow moon will take place on February 26 and continue through February 27 (with peak illumination at 3:17 a.m. EST on the 27th). The best time to see it depends on where you’re located, but the rule of thumb is to aim for a time between moonrise and sunset. Per Forbes, the ideal viewing time got the snow moon in New York would be moonrise at 6:17 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 27. 

So, if you forgot about last month’s wolf moon, we recommend finding a high spot, getting comfortable and not missing this week’s snow moon.