Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
If you make a contribution of $150 or more, you will become an official “Friend of the Planet” and receive a Friend of the Planet T-shirt or water bottle. You can also submit opinion essays to us for our consideration for posting on our new “Bright Ideas” op-ed page.
Super Snow Moon Over NYC Photo: Gary Hershorn, Instagram
Overnight from Saturday into Sunday, the full moon for the month of February, called the Snow Moon, was particularly spectacular because it occurred about a day before reaching the closest point to Earth in its orbit — and thus it appeared slightly larger than average. This special winter moon played a significant role in numerous cultures and religions globally and historically – a bit like a lunar version of Groundhog Day. A TV station in Pittsburg put together a series of stunning photos — we had to share – not to mention one of our own.
Why This Matters: Understanding these natural phenomena is fundamentally human – it transcends cultures and time. And who does not love a beautiful full moon in winter?
For Native Americans in the north and eastern regions of the U.S., it was known as the Snow Moon or the Hunger Moon. It was known as the Snow Moon because of the heavy snows that fall in this season or as the Hunger Moon because bad weather and heavy snows made hunting difficult during this season.
This full moon is in the middle of the first month of the Chinese calendar.
It also occurs during Shevat in the Hebrew calendar. The 15th day of Shevat, corresponding with the Full Moon, is the holiday Tu BiShvat, which is also called “Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot” (literally “New Year of the Trees”). In Israel, it is celebrated as an ecological awareness day, and trees are planted in celebration.
In the Islamic calendar, the months start with the first sighting of the waxing crescent Moon a few days after the New Moon. This full Moon is near the middle of Jumada al-awwal, the fifth month of the calendar.
Super Snow Moon over the ocean in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico Photo: David Cohen for ODP
Have you ever wondered what space smells like? Now we know. According to astronauts, it is “a mix of gunpowder, seared steak, raspberries and rum.” Hmmm. CNN reports that the fragrance was invented to help astronauts train for space — so that nothing about it would be surprising to them (seems like that would take […]
Using inexpensive tracking technology and a large antenna installed on the International Space Station, a consortium of researchers is hoping to gather a wider range of data than they had using previous tracking technologies, including long migration patterns, allowing them to better understand how climate change and habitat loss impact wildlife.
Why This Matters: In addition to better understanding of wildlife migration and threats, the technology could be used for a range of other goals.
Elon Musk’s company Space X is behind the latest NASA chapter, in which the Dragon Capsule launched by the Falcon 9 rocket will deliver astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley in style (wearing Tesla emblazoned custom-made Space X pressure suits) to the international space station – liftoff is set for today 4:33 pm ET.
Why This Matters: When it comes to the future, for better or worse, we are in Elon Musk’s hands, even as he argues to rapidly re-open the economy.
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.