Are you ready for the biggest supermoon of the year? On Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, the full moon will be closer than at any other point in the year. It’s actually the second, and largest, of three supermoons to kick off 2019 that began with last month’s Super Wolf Blood Moon total lunar eclipse.
Though it won’t be as dramatic as the Super Wolf Blood Moon since the moon will not turn red, the rise of the Super Snow Moon — also called the Storm Moon and Hunger Moon because of it being at the coldest time of year — promises to be a special sight.
What is a supermoon?
A supermoon is when the moon looks larger than usual because it’s closer. The moon orbits Earth in a slight ellipse and each month it reaches both its closest point (perigee) and farthest away point (apogee). Every month there is a supermoon and a micromoon. However, it’s only when a supermoon coincides with a full moon that the event results in the biggest, brightest and best moon. On Feb. 19 the moon will be 221,681 miles (356,761 km) from Earth. It doesn’t often get any closer than that.
When is the Super Snow Moon?
Our satellite will be in its fullest phase during the morning in North America, which may sound like bad timing, but actually gives observers in the U.S. and Canada three chances to view a large Super Snow Moon almost at its peak. Although the full moon will occur at precisely 10:53 a.m. EST and 07:53 a.m. PST on Feb. 19, all full moons are best looked at during dusk and dawn. That’s particularly true of a supermoon, which tends to look larger when viewed in the context of trees and buildings on the horizon rather than when it’s risen high into the sky.