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February’s full moon is arriving shortly after Valentine’s Day this year, on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, at precisely 11:57 a.m EST.
Since the full moon is arriving in the middle of the day, it may be difficult to spot as it competes for attention with the sun.
However, the moon will appear full from the night of Feb. 15 through the night of Feb. 16, so watchers will have ample time to see the February’s full Snow Moon before it’s gone.
Full Moon February 2022: Why It’s Called The Snow Moon
The Snow Moon gets its name because February is typically the snowiest month of the year.
After the snowstorm that stretched across Texas and Oklahoma to the Midwest and the Northeast in the first days of the month, it appears February is living up to its snowy reputation.
Native American tribes from New England were the first to call February’s full moon the Snow Moon, but other tribes had different names. Other popular names for the February full moon include Eagle Moon, Bear Moon, Bone Moon and Hungry Moon.
That last name is likely a reference to the scarcity of food in the midst of a cold and snowy winter.
Thankfully, next month’s full moon has a more springlike reference — the Worm Moon.
The March full moon will arrive about halfway through the month, and it marks the beginning of more celestial events to come in spring and summer.
When To See Supermoons In 2022
A supermoon occurs when a full moon is within 90% of its closest point to Earth, and this year, the moon will meet that criteria on four different occasions.
Supermoons will appear on May 16, June 14, July 13 and Aug. 12 — four months in a row all summer long.
This year’s first supermoon in May also happens to be a total lunar eclipse, which will be visible across North America.
The July supermoon will be the closest of those four — when the moon is only 222,089 miles away.
Since supermoons are closer than the average full moon, they appear about 15% bigger and brighter, but it can be difficult to notice these slight differences with the naked eye.
Meteor Showers In 2022 To See Without A Full Moon
The most popular meteor showers occur every year, but a full moon can make the sky too bright to see any of those bright streaks flying across the sky.
Fortunately, at least a handful of these meteor showers will peak when the moon isn’t visible, or it’s just a sliver in the sky.
The Eta Aquarid meteor shower originates from debris from Halley’s Comet, and patient watchers could see anywhere between 20 and 60 meteors per hour on May 5 and 6.
The Delta Aquarid meteor shower will peak July 29 and 30, and this annual shower typically delivers between 15 and 20 meteors every hour.
And lastly, a full moon won’t get in the way of the Orionid meteor shower on Oct. 20 and 21, when 10 to 20 meteors can be expected to quickly streak across the night sky.
Between February’s full Snow Moon, supermoons later in the year, a lunar eclipse and more than just a few meteor showers, there are plenty of reasons to get outside and look up at the night sky in 2022.