The full moon in March will also be a “supermoon.” Three supermoons in a row are unusual, as there are typically only three to four moons in an entire year that can be classified as such.
The term “supermoon” has only been used for about the past 40 years and it describes the occurrence of a full moon at its closest approach to Earth in its orbit. This combination makes the moon appear both brighter and closer than normal.
To catch the next supermoon, aka the “super snow moon,” your best bet is to watch for the moonrise, which will occur between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. local time on Feb. 19 in the United States. You can get the exact time it will be visible in your neck of the woods here. This is also the best time to snap an Instagram-worthy shot of the “super snow moon,” when the moon appears even larger due to it’s close proximity to the horizon.
“The moon isn’t actually bigger, it just looks like it,” Dean Regas, astronomer for the Cincinnati Observer explained to USA Today. “This perceived increase in size happens whenever you see the moon, regardless of its phase, near the horizon.”
The reason this one is called a “snow moon” is because February is the month most associated with lots of snowfall. Last year, there was no full moon at all in February, which is known as a “black moon” and it only happens once every 19 years. Instead, there were two full moons in January and March.
If you want to glimpse a super-bright moon, don’t miss your chance, because this is the absolute brightest the moon will be until 2026.
Will you be watching for the “super snow moon”?