February’s full moon will brighten the skies as the biggest supermoon of the year.
The moon will technically reach peak fullness at 10:54am (EST) today, but won’t be visible at that time.
If your weather looks threatening, you can also catch sight of the full moon online, thanks to live broadcasts from the Virtual Telescope Project based in Rome, beginning at 11:30 a.m. EST (1630 GMT), and from Slooh, beginning at 7 p.m. EST (000 GMT).
And it will be a particularly splendid sight, since the moon is at perigee just a few hours before it is full, hence the “supermoon” moniker.
It will appear about 10 percent larger than an average full moon on account of being relatively close to Earth, just 221,681 miles (356,761 kilometers) away.
We humans enjoy the full moon because the entire near side, the half of the moon that faces us, is bathed in sunlight.
But that of course means that the opposite side of the moon, the far side, is experiencing its night — and on the moon, that lasts about two terrestrial weeks.
During lunar night on the far side, temperatures can drop as low as minus 310 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 190 degrees Celsius), as China’s Chang’e- 4 lander and Yutu-2 rover have learned from their stay on the moon, which began on Jan. 3.
WHY IT’S CALLED SUPER SNOW MOON
Each month, the full moon carries a different name signifying what is most associated with that time.
This is because centuries ago, lunar months were associated with the changing seasons rather than the solar year, CNN reports.
Native Americans and Europeans gave February the “Snow moon” title because it was the month associated with heavy snowfall, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
The supermoon marks a big difference from 2018, when there was no full moon in February — called a Black Moon.
This occurs once every 19 years, and it’s because January and March each have two full moons.