Advertisement

When is the next full moon? How to see February's 'micromoon'

We see about 12 full moons a year, when the Sun is directly the other side of the Earth from the moon (Prakesh Mathema/AFP via Getty Images)
We see about 12 full moons a year, when the Sun is directly the other side of the Earth from the moon (Prakesh Mathema/AFP via Getty Images)

The second full moon of 2024 is almost upon us.

When the moon is completely illuminated and facing the sun in its orbit around the Earth, it gives you a full moon. If we’re lucky enough to get clear skies this weekend, astronomy fans will be able to catch a glimpse of February’s full moon.

February’s full moon is known as the Snow Moon and it is the smallest moon of the year. While we’ll be able to enjoy some super moons later on in the year, this week’s your chance to see the first micromoon of 2024. Even though we refer to it as a full moon, that’s technically not true.

The moon is only completely full when Earth, the Sun and the moon are in perfect alignment, which results in a lunar eclipse.

The moon always shows the same face to the Earth (PA)
The moon always shows the same face to the Earth (PA)

When is the next full moon?

You’ll be able to see the next full moon between February 23 and February 24.

The peak of the full moon will occur at 12.30 UTC on February 24.

What is a full moon?

A full moon is a phase of the moon – phases are affected by the relative positions of the moon, Sun and Earth.

We only see the parts of the moon that are lit by the Sun, as well as light from distant stars and the reflection of light from the Earth. But the Sun provides most of the light that allows us to see the moon.

A full moon occurs when the moon is on the other side of the Earth to the Sun because this allows the moon to be fully lit.

How many full moons are there a year and what is a cold moon?

Most years there are 12 full moons but, around every two to three years, there are 13 full moons in one calendar year. The Cold Moon is so named because it is in the winter, although our coldest average temperatures are in January.

Full moon dates in 2024

  • January 25

  • February 24

  • March 25

  • April 24

  • May 23

  • June 22

  • July 21

  • August 19

  • September 18

  • October 17

  • November 15

  • December 15

What are the names of the full moons?

Full moon nicknames mostly come from Native American culture. Many tribes assigned either 12 or 13 full moons to the year, and these names were later adopted by colonial Americans, before entering popular culture.

January

January’s full moon is called the Wolf Moon. It’s named after the howling of wolves, hungry after the lack of food available in midwinter. January’s full moon has other nicknames, including Old Moon and Ice Moon.

February

The full moon in February is called the Snow Moon, after the snowy weather in North America. February’s full moon is also known as the Storm Moon and Hunger Moon.

March

March’s full moon is known as the Worm Moon. Native Americans named this moon after the worm trails that would appear in the ground after it thawed at the end of winter. This moon is also called the Chaste Moon, Death Moon, and Crust Moon.

April

April’s full moon is called the Pink Moon – named after an early blooming wildflower. Other cultures call April’s moon the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon.

May

May’s full moon is known by many cultures as the Flower Moon, after the flowers that bloom in spring. It’s also called the Hare Moon and the Milk Moon, among other names.

June

June’s full moon is known as the Strawberry Moon, named after the harvesting of strawberries during this month. In Europe, it’s known as the Rose Moon, and it is known as the Hot Moon in other cultures.

July

The full moon in July is known as the Buck Moon, which got its name from the time of year when male deer begin to regrow their antlers. It’s also known as the Thunder Moon and Hay Moon.

August

The full moon in August is known as the Sturgeon Moon by North American fishing tribes because the fish species appear during this month. It’s also known as the Green Corn Moon and the Red Moon.

September

September’s full moon is called the Full Corn Moon, because this is the time of year when crops are gathered, following the summer season. It’s also known as the Harvest Moon as it is often the nearest full moon to the autumnal equinox.

October

The full moon in October is called the Hunter’s Moon, as October is the preferred moon to hunt deer and foxes who are no longer able to hide among crops. It’s also called the Travel Moon and the Dying Grass Moon.

November

November’s full moon is called the Beaver Moon. Some people believe it’s named after the time of year Native Americans set up beaver traps, while others believe it comes from the time of year beavers build their winter dams.

December

December’s full moon is known as the Cold Moon, for the cold weather that winter brings. It’s also known as the Long Night Moon.