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February's Full Snow Moon

In the dead of winter, it can be hard to push yourself up from your couch and go for a walk in the great — and often freezing — outdoors. However, there’s one reason to press pause of your TV remote, bundle up, and step outside for part of the evening: February’s Full “Snow Moon.”


For those of us here in Las Vegas, the Full Snow Moon isn't quite as daunting as it is for a large portion of the US, (especially right now). While we are loving the sunny and 70 degrees, we do have to deal with the usual spring winds. Locally the full moon occurs Saturday @ 12:17am; sky's are forecast to be clear w/ a low of 45, however there is a wind advisory overnight, which means getting out to see Her beautiful luminous face will be more challenging.

Here is some great information on Moon Lore from The Old Farmers Almanac:

February’s full Snow Moon reaches peak illumination on Saturday, February 27. For the best view of this Moon, look for it on the night of Friday, February 26; it will drift above the horizon in the east around sunset and reach its highest point in the sky around midnight. See when the Moon will be visible in your area (Moonrise in Vegas will be 5:03pm on Friday).



WHY IS IT CALLED THE SNOW MOON?

The full Moon names used by The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from a number of places, including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources. Traditionally, each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, not just to the full Moon itself.


The explanation behind February’s full Moon name is a fairly straightforward one: it’s known as the Snow Moon due to the typically heavy snowfall that occurs in February. On average, February is the United States’ snowiest month, according to data from the National Weather Service. In the 1760s, Captain Jonathan Carver, who had visited with the Naudowessie (Dakota), wrote that the name used for this period was the Snow Moon, “because more snow commonly falls during this month than any other in the winter.”


Alternative February Moon Names:

Names for this month’s Moon have historically had a connection to animals. The Cree traditionally called this the Bald Eagle Moon or Eagle Moon. The Ojibwe Bear Moon and Tlingit Black Bear Moon refer to the time when bear cubs are born. The Dakota also call this the Raccoon Moon, certain Algonquin peoples named it the Groundhog Moon, and the Haida named it Goose Moon.

Another theme of this month’s Moon names is scarcity. The Cherokee names of, Month of the Bony Moon and Hungry Moon give evidence to the fact that food was hard to come by at this time.

MOON FACTS AND FOLKLORE

- On February 6, 1971, Alan Shepard became the first man to hit a golf ball on the Moon.

- Did you know that the Moon’s diameter is 2,160 miles? This is less than the width of the United States (approximately 3,000 miles), and 0.27 of Earth’s diameter (7,926 miles).

- Wolves have howled at the Moon for centuries, yet it is still there.

- And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the Moon.

—Edward Lear, English poet (1812-88)





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