The second Full Moon of 2023 will occur on February 5. In this article, we’ll tell you why it’s called the Snow Moon and what’s the best time for its observation.
When is the Full Moon in February 2023?
This month, the Moon will reach its full phase on February 5 at 18:29 GMT (1:29 p.m. EST). Our natural satellite will shine in the constellation Cancer with a magnitude of -12.3 and reach its highest point in the sky around midnight. Remember that you don’t really need to know the exact time of this event to enjoy it, as the Moon will appear full on the nights around February 5.
The last Micromoon in 2023
A Micromoon occurs when a Full Moon coincides with the apogee (the moment when our natural satellite is the farthest from the Earth). According to the calendar made by former NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak, the Full Moon in February 2023 will be the second and the last Micromoon this year. For observers, it means that the Moon might seem slightly smaller than usual. Check our Supermoons & Micromoons infographic to visually compare a Supermoon and Micromoon with an ordinary Moon.
What time does the Full Moon rise?
The moonrise time varies for different locations. To learn the exact time for the place you’re currently in, use Sky Tonight. Open the app, tap the Magnifier icon, type “Moon” in the search field, and tap the corresponding search result. On the Figures tab, you’ll find info on the Moon’s current phase, visual magnitude, and illumination. On the Events tab, you can see the list of upcoming astronomical events related to the Moon, including the rise and set times.
Moon phases in February 2023
Find the Moon phases for the future month of February listed below:
- Full Moon: February 5, 18:29 GMT
- Last Quarter: February 13, 16:01 GMT
- New Moon: February 20, 07:06 GMT
- First Quarter: February 27, 08:06 GMT
Sky Tonight provides a convenient Moon phase calendar you can check anytime. After launching the app, tap the calendar icon in the lower part of the main screen. Select the Moon tab to see the lunar phases for every day of the selected month.
Visible stars near the February Full Moon
According to the Sky Tonight astronomical calendar, the Moon will meet two celestial objects before reaching its full phase:
- On February 3, 2023, at 19:47 GMT, our natural satellite will pass 2°6' away from Pollux (magnitude 1.2), the brightest star in the constellation Gemini;
- On February 4, 2023, at 21:32 GMT, the Moon will be at a distance of 3°54' from the Beehive cluster (magnitude 3.1). Under the dark skies, the Beehive might be spotted with the naked eye, but the bright Moon will likely outshine it.
Sky Tonight can also help you to identify any bright object near the Moon. Open the app and tap the compass icon in the lower right corner of the main screen. Then point your device at the Moon, and the app will reveal the names of stars, planets, and other objects surrounding it.
What is a Snow Moon?
Traditionally, the February Full Moon is called the Snow Moon in North America and Europe. Unlike some other Full Moon names (like the Worm Moon or the Pink Moon), this name speaks for itself and doesn’t require much explanation. February is the month of heaviest snowfalls in North America, so Native American tribes referred to it as the Snow Moon. Some tribes also called it the Hunger Moon because it was difficult to hunt under harsh weather conditions.
February Full Moon alternative names
Different cultures gave the February Full Moon different names. Here are some of them:
- Chinese: Budding Moon
- Celtic: Ice Moon
- Cree: Eagle Moon
- Cherokee: Bony Moon
- Southern Hemisphere: Grain Moon, Barley Moon, Red Moon, Dog Moon
When is the next Full Moon?
The next Full Moon will occur on March 7. It is traditionally referred to as the Worm Moon. We’ll explain the origin of this peculiar name and provide other useful information about the March Full Moon closer to the date.
If you want to learn more about the upcoming Full Moons and the origins of their names, check out our colorful Full Moon calendar for 2023!
Bottom line: the upcoming Full Moon, also known as the Snow Moon, will occur on February 5, 2023. It will be the last Micromoon this year.