The full moon for March 2017 is coming up tomorrow morning! You’ll have a good chance tonight with moonrise at 4:47 pm and sunset at 5:37 pm, as well as tomorrow morning’s moonset at 5:01 am. Tomorrow’s moonrise at 6:51 pm, just after sunset at 6:38 pm, might even be better (all times for midcoast Maine). (N.B. Note the times are much later because of the time change!).
March has been a great month for me in year’s past, and I’ve included some of my favorites here. The March full moon is of course known by many names across different cultures, and one of my favorite names is from the Dakota Sioux, who called it the Moon When Eyes Hurt from Bright Snow. Other popular names for this moon include the Algonquin names Full Worm Moon and Sugar Moon, as well as the English Chaste Moon and the Colonial American Lenten Moon.
Well, this snuck up on me this month – today is the February’s full moon, commonly called the Snow Moon (which is very appropriate for weather right now in New England). I’ve not actually used that name for my past photographs of the February moon, going with Hunger Moon, Trapper’s Moon, Bone Moon, Storm Moon, and the Quiet Moon.
This month’s full moon comes with a penumbral eclipse, too — which basically means that the moon will appear a bit less bright than normal. This is not a full eclipse so you won’t see the Blood Moon kind of look, but you should be able to notice that the moon is dimmer than normal, particularly on the top/north side of the moon. The peak of the eclipse is 7:44 pm Eastern, and it starts and ends about 2 hours on both sides of that.
Here in midcoast Maine, moonrise will be at 4:50 pm with sunset at 4:59 pm.
Below I’ve included a few other February full moons from my full moon series.
Tomorrow (January 12th) is the full moon and we may have a bit of a break in the weather here in Maine to actually see it. The moment of the full moon will occur tomorrow morning at 6:33 am (all times Eastern US). Tonight will actually be your best chance weather-wise here in Maine to view the full moon, with moonrise occurring at 3:50 pm and sunset following at 4:18 pm.
If you are lucky enough to be able to see past the atmosphere tomorrow, moonrise will be at 4:55 pm here in midcoast Maine (after sunset).
The most common name for January’s full moon is the Wolf Moon, named for the time of year when food and game were scarce and wolves roamed the snowy landscape. Other names that I’ve used for my full moon photographs in past years include the Quiet Moon, Moon of the Strong Cold, and the Great Spirit Moon. I’ve included a few past January moons here in this post, and you can see more of my Adventures in Celestial Mechanics project here.
December’s full moon is almost upon us, with the moment of the full moon coming at 7:05 pm on Tuesday, December 13th. It’s snowing right now but it should be clear tomorrow night for those hoping to view or photograph it. Moonrise tomorrow night will be at 4:11 pm and sunset at 3:57 pm (!) so it should be great viewing.
I’ve created some of my favorite photographs in my Adventures in Celestial Mechanics series documenting the full moon in December. Not surprisingly, North American names for the December full moon focused on the upcoming winter: Cold Moon, Long Nights Moon (one of my favorite all-time names), Winter Maker Moon, and Christmas Moon are all names I’ve used for different moons over the years.
This post includes some of my December full moons from years past, and you can see more of the series at my website. Good luck if you head out to watch the full moon this week!
November’s full moon is coming up on Monday morning and it should be a great one. I’m a bit cautious in hyping the supermoons as they really aren’t much visibly larger than a “regular” full moon — usually they appear about 10% or 12% larger (this one more like 15% larger), and most people won’t even notice the difference. There is a great comparison photo at this link showing how little the apparent size actually varies.
A supermoon is basically a full moon that appears when the moon is closer than average in distance from the Earth. Since the moon orbits the Earth in an ellipse rather than a circle, there will be times when it is closer and and other times when it is further than average, making the moon appear larger or smaller, respectively. It is not a dramatic difference, but it is definitely a good excuse to get out there and enjoy watching moonrise or moonset of the supermoon.
The difference between this month and a typical supermoon is not humongous, but it is noteworthy, as it will appear larger than any full moon in the last 68 years (and bigger than any upcoming ones until 2034).
On Monday, moonset will be 6:15 am and moonrise will be at 4:45 pm (37 minutes after sunset). Moonrise Sunday night should be a good opportunity, too, with moonrise at 4:02 pm just before sunset.
The most common name for the November full moon is the Algonquin name, the Beaver Moon. Other names are the Frost or Frosty Moon and the Dark Moon. If you’d like to see my long-term full moon project, you can find it here. Good luck!
I’m a bit late in posting this, so I’ll keep this short — October’s full moon is coming up this weekend. Technically the moment of the full moon is just after midnight Saturday night/Sunday morning, so there should be good viewing opportunities all weekend.
Saturday night moonrise here in Maine is at 5:56 pm, just after sunset at 5:51 pm, which is a great opportunity for the rising full moon and the landscape in the same photograph.
The October Full Moon is often called the Hunter’s Moon in years when the Harvest Moon is in September. Other names I love are The Moon of Falling Leaves, Moon of the Ripening, and the Wine Moon.
It is that time again with September’s full moon coming on Friday, September 16th. The time of the full moon is Friday afternoon at 3:05 pm (all times through midcoast Maine), so moonrise that day will likely be the best viewing opportunity. Moonrise on Friday will be at 6:51 pm, just after sunset at 6:43 pm.
The Harvest Moon is by far the most common name for this month’s full moon. Technically the Harvest Moon should be the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox…most of the time (including this year) that is the September full moon, but about 1/3 of the time it will be the October full moon.
The Harvest Moon is the most well-known moon name and it lives strongly in popular culture. Despite popular belief, it appears no larger than other moons, but it does rise close to the sunset multiple days in a row (compared to other times of year). Saturday’s moonrise, for example, is at 7:25 pm, just 34 minutes after Friday’s moonrise. This aspect of September’s moon is part of its origin story as a name, as farmers used the light from the rising full moon to extend their harvest day during this crucial time of year for the harvest.
September’s full moon has other names, of course, either from other cultures that don’t harvest this time of year and for years when it is not the moon closest to the equinox. Examples include the Moon of Plenty, the Chestnut Moon, Dancing Moon, Autumn Moon, and Rice Moon, all names I’ve used for my Adventures in Celestial Mechanics project.
In gathering photographs for this month’s post, I came to the realization that September has been my most productive month for my full moon photographs. I suppose it is partially luck and partially opportunity because of weather this time of year, but I was pleased to see the wide range of photographs from the last five years. Please enjoy some of the selections from this series in this post!
August’s full moon is just around the corner, with the moment of the full moon occurring at about 5:26 am on Thursday morning (all times midcoast Maine). Moonset at 5:52 am (with sunrise at 5:43 am) and Moonrise at 7:45 pm (after sunset at 7:35) should provide great photographic opportunities.
The August full moon goes by many names across different cultures. I love the Dog Days Moon and its reference with the sultry day of late summer, an association from ancient times based on the idea that the rising Sirius, the Dog Star, caused the hot weather.
The Algonquins also called the August full moon the Corn Moon or Green Corn moon for obvious harvest reasons (the English also called this the Corn Moon). I also love the Moon of the Ripening, a poetic Lakota name, that evokes ideas of crops ripening in the field.
I’ve included a few of my photographs from previous August full moons above and below — you can see more from my Adventure in Celestial Mechanics full moon project here.
Tomorrow is the full moon for July, which means that there are some good photographic opportunities coming up. Tonight (if weather permits, which it may not here in coastal Maine) moonrise is at 7:04 pm, with sunset at 8:14 pm. It will be tricky to see the moon near moonrise as it will still be pretty bright outside just after 7 pm, but as it rises it will become more visible. Tomorrow night will likely be the best opportunity, with moonrise at 7:51 pm and sunset and 8:13 pm (and a good forecast here, too). If you are an early riser, moonset is at 4:55 am with sunrise at 5:10 am tomorrow morning. All of the time are based on midcoast Maine and will vary a bit depending on where you are located.
I’ve been photographing the full moons for years, and you can read about some of my earlier July full moons in my post from last year.
You can find more of my full moon photographs on my website as part of my Adventures in Celestial Mechanics project. The photograph above is a new one and is NOT from July, but instead from this last February. I just posted a group of new photographs from this series on my website if you’d like to take a look.
I hope everyone is enjoying a lovely holiday weekend (for those of you celebrating Independence Day here in the U.S). I’ll be out the remainder of this week on a family camping trip, too, but will be back in the saddle next week.
Most locales here in the U.S. celebrate the holiday in part with fireworks, so now is a good time to point out new pieces in my Pyrotechnic project that I’ve just published as part of a general refresh of that portfolio.
Later tonight (July 4th) NASA’s Juno spacecraft will hopefully be safely inserted into Jupiter’s orbit. This is a very exciting mission to study Jupiter’s magnetosphere (among other things), and you can read more about it on Space.com. There is a fascinating video here (with data from the Hubble Space Telescope) with more about the ultraviolet light auroras of Jupiter, too (with 80’s style guitar soundtrack as well).
One last thing…I loved this Elegy for the Arctic, a beautiful piano piece by Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi performed by him amidst the ice (really).