A beautiful full "Snow Moon" will light up the sky on Monday evening, February 25, 2013. Some avid observers of the celestial wonders of the night sky historically refer to this February full moon as the "Full Hunger Moon," since hunting is often difficult in North America during this cold winter month, leaving food supplies scarce for ancient tribes. The best location to view tonight's full moon is from the beautiful Spanish Canary Islands. For those who can't make the trip, NASA's SPACE.com offers a free full moon webcast from the Slooh Observatory starting at 3:30 p.m. ET. Read on for more info and some fun full moon folklore!
The Slooh Observatory is located on the Spanish Canary Islands just off the coast of Africa. Slooh President Patrick Paolucci recently told SPACE.com, "Using our observatory in the Canary Islands, we will explore the Full Snow Moon, sometimes known as the Hunger Moon, with fascinating stories by astronomer Bob Berman."
NASA's Space.com webcast offers a free live stream of Monday evening's full moon coverage, as well as more information and history in regards to the full moon and its folklore.
The webcast from the Slooh Space Camera can also be viewed here.
Here are some more fun and interesting facts and superstitions about the full moon, as reported by alchemyandanarchy.com:
- The full moon is a lunar phase occurring when the moon is on the opposite side of the earth from the sun and all three bodies are aligned in a straight line. Viewed from earth, the near side of the moon is fully illuminated by the sun giving it the familiar circular appearance.
- The full moon occurs every 29.5 days - the duration of one complete lunar cycle.
- Lunar eclipses, caused by the passage of the earth's shadow across the illuminated hemisphere, only occur during a full moon. However, because of the angle of tilt of both bodies the moon normally passes either north or south of the earth's shadow.
- The chances of being bitten by a dog are twice as high during a full moon, but a study at the University of Sydney in Australia concluded there was no identifiable relationship between the state of the moon and dog bites.
- The second full moon occurring within a calendar month is called a Blue Moon. The latest was seen in August 2012 - this phenomenon occurs once every three years on average.
- A full Moon is considered unlucky if it occurs on a Sunday but lucky on Monday (or moon day).
- According to superstition a male child is more likely to be conceived at full moon.
- The full moon may appear round, but is actually shaped like an egg with the pointed end facing earth.
- Some insomnia sufferers claim to sleep worse during a full moon; although others say they sleep more soundly.
- The honeymoon is named after the full moon in June. As it fell between the planting and harvesting of crops this was traditionally the best month to get married.
Check out Mark Gee's stunning video of the January 27th full moon from Mount Victoria Lookout in Wellington, New Zealand: