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.
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
NASA announced that its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully touched down on the near-Earth asteroid Bennu after spending two years orbiting it. Its task was to grab a sample from the asteroid’s surface with its robotic arm. Bennu sits 200 million miles from Earth (so close) and NASA’s leadership was thrilled with this latest “first” — the […]
When a second-grade class wondered what would happen if a firefly went to space (would it still be able to light up in zero gravity?) their teacher, Maggie Samudio, helped them get the answer by helping her students send an experiment to space. As the New York Times reported, Blue Origin, the rocket company started […]
NASA announced this week that it would be changing the nicknames of any celestial bodies that are inappropriate such as “Eskimo Nebula” and “Siamese Twins Galaxy,” for example. CNN reported on the decision by the agency to re-examine its use of phrases for planets, galaxies, and other cosmic objects “as part of its commitment to […]
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.