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Business News/ News / World/  Hunger Moon tonight! Why the 24 February Full Moon is also called Snow Moon, micromoon
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Hunger Moon tonight! Why the 24 February Full Moon is also called Snow Moon, micromoon

The full moon on February 24 will happen when the Moon is exactly on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. The “Snow Moon” will be the smallest of the year as it rises during dusk on Saturday.

Full moon, February 24: This full moon happens when the Moon is exactly on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. (REUTERS)Premium
Full moon, February 24: This full moon happens when the Moon is exactly on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. (REUTERS)

Call it "Snow Moon", "Hunger Moon" or "Minimoon" — February's full moon of 2024 has many names. The full moon will appear on February 24. "The next full Moon will be Saturday morning, February 24, 2024, appearing opposite the Sun [in Earth-based longitude] at 7:30 am EST [6:00 pm IST]," according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

This full moon happens when the Moon is exactly on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. The "Snow Moon" will be the smallest of the year as it rises during dusk on Saturday, Live Science reported.

ALSO READ: Cold Moon 2023: What is it and when to see the last full

Space.com explained that most of the time, the Moon is illuminated by the sun's light. "Once in a while, the moon's orbit carries it within the shadow of Earth. February's full moon will miss the Earth's shadow, because the moon's orbit is tilted by five degrees to the plane of the Earth's orbit, and therefore Earth won't be directly between the sun and the moon," the report said.

ALSO READ: Christmas Cold Moon 2023: When and where to see the last full of the year

Here's why this full moon is called by many names

The full moon on February 24 is called a "minimoon" or "micromoon" since "this is a little over a day before apogee (when the Moon is at its farthest from the Earth for this orbit) this is a micromoon, the opposite of a supermoon", the NASA said.

ALSO READ: Why is this full moon called Strawberry moon? Here are some other names you should know

The orgin of its name as "Snow Moon" dates back to 1930s when Maine Farmers' Almanac began publishing "Indian" names for full Moons. According to this almanac, as the full Moon in February the tribes of the northeastern US called this the Snow or Storm Moon because of the heavy snows in this season.

"Bad weather and heavy snowstorms made hunting difficult, so this Moon was also called the Hunger Moon," the NASA said.

ALSO READ: Supermoon: The largest and brightest moon of 2023

Some also list the Wolf Moon as an old European name for this full Moon. Another European name is the Candles Moon, tied to Candlemas on February 2, although this could also apply to last month's full Moon, which was closer to Candlemas.

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Published: 24 Feb 2024, 05:08 PM IST
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