The moon will appear bigger and brighter than usual on Sunday as a ‘snow super moon’ lights up the sky.
Generally, a supermoon appears 14% larger and 30% brighter than the average moon.
It happens when a full moon coincides with the moment our satellite reaches its perigee, which is the closest point of its orbit to Earth.
The beauty of this season’s wonder of nature may have been lost on our ancestors, who were too busy staying alive at this time of year to spend much time wistfully gazing into the night sky.
February’s full moon is known as the snow moon as it arrives during one of the coldest periods of the year.
It’s also known as the hunger moon for a more sinister reason.
Back in the day, this time of the year could turn into a pitched battle for survival for anyone who had failed to stockpile enough food for the winter.
So whilst the snow or hunger moon sounds poetic to modern ears, it would have reminded our ancestors of the perilous risk they faced during the cold seasons.
The names of the moons are not scientific terms but are often based upon old European or American words.
Nasa explained: ‘The Maine Farmer’s Almanac first published Indian names for the full Moons in the 1930’s, and according to this almanac, this was known as the Snow Moon because of the heavy snows that fall in this season.
‘Bad weather and heavy snows made hunting difficult, so this Moon was also called the Hunger Moon.’
A supermoon occurs when Earth’s satellite appears larger than usual as it reaches ‘perigee’, the closest point of its orbit to Earth.
Nasa added: ‘The term “supermoon” was introduced by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 and has become popular, particularly when it refers to a brighter than usual full Moon.’
The supermoon will peak at about 7.30am GMT on Sunday, February 9.
Source: Read Full Article