Look Up! A Super Snow Moon Is Coming Next Week

Silhouette of a man pushing a child on a swing in front of a full moon in Kayseri, Turkey on August 26, 2018 - next week's Supermoon could be the year's biggest and brightest.

A supermoon occurs when the moon's orbit is closest (perigee) to the Earth at the same time it is full, according to NASA.

February's full moon is sometimes called the "snow moon" in folklore tradition because of the heavy snowfalls that are common in winter.

A full moon occurs every month when we can see the moon in its entirety.

Unfortunately it won't be quite as colourful as last month's super wolf moon - but it's promised to still be quite the natural display, nonetheless. Some other nicknames for it are the Storm Moon, Hunger Moon and Bone Moon.

The term "snow moon" is the historic name given to the second full moon of winter by certain Native American tribes in the US, according to NASA.

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It'll appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual.

When can people see the super snow moon?

The moon will technically reach peak fullness next Tuesday morning, February 19, 2019, at 10:54 a.m. EST, but won't be visible to most in the U.S.at that time.

The moon will appear particularly large when it is close to the horizon thanks to an optical illusion known as "the moon illusion". However, full moons are best viewed during dusk and dawn.

It is the second supermoon event of the year; the first took place on 21 January. "You can maybe tell the difference from a normal full moon if you make a practice of looking at a lot of them" - something Hartigan said is true for him. It happens when rays of the sun completely illuminate the the side of the moon that faces our blue planet. As a result the eclipse looks more like a "ring of fire", with a thicker ring of light visible in comparison to a total solar eclipse.

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