Good news for sky watchers, the next full moon is set to be the biggest and brightest of the year. the “super snow moon” as it is being called, will cross the skies on Feb. 19.
While the upcoming “super snow moon” won’t be the extravagant astronomical spectacle that January’s “super blood wolf moon eclipse” was, it will be larger and brighter. If that isn’t enough, the subsequent full moon in March will also be a “supermoon,” rounding off 2019 with a total of three “supermoons.”In a given year, between two and four full moons can be classified as “supermoons.”
Now learn what to know about the upcoming “super snow moon” and what the best time is to see it.
What is the super snow moon?
A “supermoon” is when a moon is simultaneously full and at its perigee, the point in its orbit when it is closest to Earth. When this happens, the moon appears larger and brighter in the sky. The moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle, due to gravitational forces from both the sun and the Earth, and thus varies in distance from the Earth throughout the year. The point in its orbit when the moon is farthest from Earth is known as the apogee, and appears to be smaller in the sky.
The moon will technically reach peak fullness next Tuesday morning, Feb. 19, 2019, at 10:54 a.m. EST, but won’t be visible to most in the U.S. at that time. Instead, you will have to wait for moonrise, which will occur between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. local time. If you are hoping to capture a good “supermoon” photo, catching the moonrise is your best bet. Due to an optical illusion, the moon appears larger to us the closer it is to the horizon.