The “Snow Moon” will be visible from central Pennsylvania in early February, and while it will be far from Earth, it should still appear “particularly bright,” according to Earthsky.org.
Indigenous peoples from what is now the northern and eastern United States called it the Snow Moon or Hunger Moon, NASA reported in a 2017 article.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac reports that the snow moon gets its name from the typically heavy snowfall in February. The name Hunger Moon refers to the winter time when food was usually scarce.
The snow moon will be the second and final micro moon of 2023, according to Earthsky.org. Its distance from Earth will be 252,171 miles, compared to the average distance of 237,700, the site reports.
“While a micromoon can appear up to 14% smaller than a supermoon — and thus appear less bright than a supermoon — this February 2023 full moon will still be very bright,” says Earthsky.org. “It will appear extra bright because the leaves are off the deciduous trees now. And if snow covers the ground where you are, the moon will look even brighter.”
Earthsky.org suggests that most viewers who are not particularly experienced cannot distinguish between a micromoon, an ordinary full moon, and a supermoon, although experts may be able to tell the difference.
When can you see the Snow Moon at State College?
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Snow Moon will reach maximum illumination at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, February 5. But since it will be below the horizon in the afternoon, it might be better to look for the night of February 4th or later in the day of February 5th.
The moon will rise at 5:26 p.m. on February 5 at State College and set at 7:40 a.m. on February 6, the almanac reports.
More full moons in 2023
If you miss the snowy moon in early February, you have 11 more chances to see a full moon in 2023. Four of them are supermoons and one is a blue moon.
The first full moon of 2023 was the wolf moon, peaking in early January.
Here’s the rest of this year’s full moon calendar with information from Space.com:
March 7: Worm Moon
April 6: Pink Moon
May 5: Flower Moon
June 3rd: Strawberry Moon
July 3: Buck Supermoon
August 1: Sturgeon Supermoon
August 30: Blue Supermoon (appears largest and brightest of the year)
29 Sep: Harvest Super Moon
28 Oct: Hunter’s Moon
Nov 27: Beaver Moon
December 26: Cold moon