Notice the Moon shining unusually bright lately? Well, if skies are clear, it's just about impossible to miss as the Moon is full for February (technically it was Full last night) is currently gracing the sky. While it is common knowledge that the Moon is Full, not everyone knows its name: the Snow Moon.
So, why the name?
The names for the full Moons come from the American Indians and, more often than not, the tribes who lived in the New England, as these were the first tribes encountered by Europeans. Accordingly, the names these tribes used for the Moons stuck. Because they lived in the woods and were very dependent on nature for survival, the Indians had to stay in tune with natural occurrences and named the full Moons of each month according to something that was going on in nature for the given time of year. So, February being the last full month of winter, it is rather appropriate that the February Full Moon has a winter theme to it.
Of course, there being several Indian tribes in North America, it is only natural that there are many different names for any given Full Moon. However, despite the different names for February's Moon, there is one common theme: winter. The February Full Moon is alternately known as the Hunger Moon (thanks to the absence of game animals and the dwindling stockpiles of crops). However, the Snow Moon is the most commonly recognized.
So, as tonight will be the near Full Moon, why not go out for a look at it?
As the last part of the puzzle, be sure to keep an eye on the Cleveland weather forecast and, for hour-by-hour cloud predictions, the Cleveland Clear Sky Clock if you plan to head out and look at the stars this coming week. Live somewhere else? Find a clock and see if it will be clear near you.
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Bodzash Photography & Astronomy