Prepare for a cosmic gift. A Super snow moon is set to light up the sky today, February 7, 2020. The best part is, NASA says the cosmic phenomenon will last for three days in total. The Snow Moon is the first of four in 2020.
The name–super snow Moon–comes from the fact that it coincides with a period of enormous snowfall in the northern hemisphere and is characterized by being whiter and brighter than usual. In addition to being called the Super Snow Moon, the full Moon in February is also dubbed the Snow Moon, Storm Moon, or the Hunger Moon.
“The Maine Farmer’s Almanac first published ‘Indian’ names for the Full Moons in the 1930s and according to this almanac, the tribes of what is now the northeastern United States called this the Snow Moon or the Storm Moon because of the heavy snows that fall in this season,” explained Nasa’s lunar expert Gordon Johnston.
Being a supermoon, it will be one of the largest full moons of the year. These supermoons take place when Earth’s natural is at its closest point to our planet, a phenomenon known as perigee.
As revealed by NASA, the best part of this year’s snow super moon is that the phenomenon will last three days, from the night of February 7 until the morning of next Monday.
Our Moon will orbit Earth at a distance of 362,479 kilometers and will look 14% larger and 30% brighter than usual.
From the American Continent, the best time to observe the super moon will be on Saturday afternoon.
For Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, the best views will be given before Sunday’s sunrise.
In addition to the striking view, the Moon will offer as it travels across the sky, the snow moon mars the end of festivities of the Chinese New Year as well as the Lantern Festival when citizens hang lanterns in houses and other buildings to say goodbye to the festivities.
In addition to the above, February’s super snow moon happens to coincide with the Magha Puja Buddhist festival, on February 9, which commemorates the gathering of thousands of followers to listen to The Ovadhapatimokha, a famous sermon of the Buddha.
If you want to observe and take images of the phenomena, it is advised to download apps and maps that will allow for the tracking of the moon as it progresses across the sky, in order to facilitate sightings.
Johnston revealed that in addition to the super snow moon, other celestial sightings including neighboring planets which will appear brighter in the night sky than usual, as well as the bright star Capella; the brightest star in the constellation of Auriga, the sixth-brightest star in the night sky
“As the midwinter Moon – the second Full Moon of winter – and the Full Moon in February, this is the Snow Moon, Storm Moon, or the Hunger Moon”, said Johnston.
The Moon is expected to be fullest at 2:33 a.m. ET on Sunday, February 9, according to NASA.