Full Moon in May 2023: Flower Moon

Star Walk
4 min readMay 2


In 2023, the Full Flower Moon will occur on May 5. As a special bonus, a lunar eclipse will take place on the same day! Here’s everything you should know about this Full Moon.

When is the Full Moon in May 2023?

The Moon will reach its full phase on May 5, 2023, at 17:34 GMT (01:34 p.m. EDT). At that moment, it will be positioned in the constellation Libra. By the way, you don’t have to strictly follow the timing to enjoy the beauty of our natural satellite: to the naked eye, the Moon will appear round and bright the day before and after reaching the full phase. You can see how the Moon will look in the sky on any chosen date in the Sky Tonight app: tap the сalendar icon, open the Moon tab, and select any date. You will see an accurate 3D image of the Moon, which reflects the angular size and orientation of the real Moon as seen from your location.

Find out how the Moon will appear in the sky. Screenshot made via the Sky Tonight app.

What is the bright dot next to the Moon tonight?

While enjoying the Full Moon, take a look at the bright stars nearby. One of them is Alpha Librae, also known under the charming name Zubenelgenubi. This star is quite special: if you have sharp eyesight or use binoculars, you’ll see it as two stars! And it’s no optical illusion, as Alpha Librae is, in fact, a double star. To easily find Zubenelgenubi near the Full Moon in the sky, use the Sky Tonight app.

You can also learn what planets are close to the Moon from our dedicated article.

Penumbral lunar eclipse

This year, the Flower Moon coincides with a penumbral lunar eclipse. The maximum phase of the eclipse will take place on May 5 at 17:22 GMT (01:22 p.m. EDT). The lunar eclipse will be visible from the beginning to end over most of Asia and Australia. Observers in Africa, much of Europe, and parts of Asia will see only a part of the eclipse. You can check if the eclipse is visible in your location using the Eclipse Guide app.

The darkening of the Moon’s disk during a penumbral eclipse is very subtle and quite difficult to observe with the naked eye. All the more reason to try and see it! Read our dedicated article to learn more information about this lunar eclipse.

Flower Moon meaning

The Flower Moon is one of the most popular names for the May Full Moon. Why is it called so? The answer is easy to guess: in the Northern Hemisphere, May is a blooming season for many flowers. Delighted by the beauty of the blossoming nature, the Native Americans named a Full Moon after it. If you look through all the Full Moon names, you’ll see that they are somehow connected to the features of nature typical for a particular month. Сheck out our colorful infographic and see for yourself!

Astrologers believe that the Flower Moon signifies a perfect time to let out your deepest feelings and become more vulnerable. They also believe that May’s Full Moon is positioned in the sign Scorpio and influenced by it. In reality, though, May’s Full Moon is in the constellation Libra — a neighbor of Scorpius — in the sky. You can check the Moon’s location yourself using Sky Tonight or Star Walk 2.

May’s Full Moon in Libra. Screenshot made via the Star Walk 2 app.

May Full Moon alternative names

People in different parts of the world used to make up various names for the May Full Moon. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • Chinese: Dragon Moon;
  • Celtic: Bright Moon;
  • Wiccan: Hare Moon;
  • Cherokee: Planting Moon;
  • Southern Hemisphere: Beaver Moon, Frost Moon.

When is the next Full Moon?

The next Full Moon will occur on June 4, 2023; it is commonly called the Strawberry Moon. Stay tuned for notifications in the Sky Tonight app, and follow us on social media, so you won’t miss it! To learn about all the Full Moons of 2023, read our Full Moons Calendar.

When is the next Flower Moon?

The Flower Moon is the Full Moon that occurs in May, so the next one will take place next year, on May 23, 2024. On that day, our natural satellite will be positioned in the constellation Libra.

Bottom line

The May Full Moon will take place on May 5, 2023. It is named the Flower Moon — after the flowers that bloom during this month. This year, the Flower Full Moon occurs together with a penumbral lunar eclipse, which is mainly visible over Asia and Australia. Use Sky Tonight to learn the Moon’s current phase and position in the sky and Eclipse Guide to find out the exact timing of the lunar eclipse for your location. We wish you clear skies and happy Moon-gazing!



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