The full moon in February is called the snow moon in the northern Hemisphere. Many times, snow cover is most expansive during February across North America. Snow cover reflects the moonlight, just adding to the brightness of the night with the full or nearly full moon.

February's Full Snow Moon rises on Sunday (Feb. 5) and will be the smallest full moon of the year, thanks to the current position of the moon in its orbit. Its distance from Earth will make this Snow Moon a "micromoon," the opposite of a supermoon. While most observers won't be able to tell a difference with the unaided eye, this month's full moon will appear up to 14% smaller than a supermoon.

The Full Snow Moon will occur Sunday at 1:28 p.m. (1828 GMT) and will be positioned in the Leo constellation. In New York City, the full moon will rise at 5:10 p.m. (2210 GMT) and will reach its highest point in the sky just after midnight. For skywatchers who don't want to brave the cold February evening to see the full moon, the Virtual Telescope Project will host a free telescope livestream beginning Sunday (Feb. 5) at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT).

Native American tribes in the northeastern United States call February's full moon the "Snow Moon" because of the heavy snowfall this time of year, according to the Maine Farmer's Almanac.

Tribes across the United States have their own names for February's full moon, according to the Western Washington University Planetarium. The Arapaho in the Great Plains have the closest name to Snow Moon, which is "frost sparkling in the sun."

Other tribes have names that are the opposite, like the Zuni Tribe in New Mexico who call it "onon u'la'ukwamme," which means "no snow in trails."

Some tribes named this full moon after animals. The Tlingit Tribe in the Pacific Northwest call it "s'eek dis" or "black bear moon." The Haida Tribe in Alaska call it "hlgit'un kungáay" or "goose moon."

February's full moon is also known as the "Full Hunger Moon" because food was scarce and hunting was difficult for ancient tribes during this month.

February Moon names from different cultures Ice (Celtic). Old Moon (Cree). Gray Moon (Pima). Wind Moon (Creek). Winter Moon (Taos). Nuts Moon (Natchez). Avunnivik Moon (Inuit). Geese Moon (Omaha). Bony Moon (Cherokee). Purification Moon (Hopi). Little bud Moon (Kiowa). Snow Moon (Neo-Pagan). Lateness Moon (Mohawk). Shoulder Moon (Wishram). Rabbit Moon (Potawatomi). Sucker Moon (Anishnaabe). Long Dry Moon (Assiniboine). Little Famine Moon (Choctaw). Storm Moon (Medieval English). Sparkling Frost Moon (Arapaho). Running Fish Moon (Winnebago). Coyote Frighten Moon (San Juan). Spruce Tips Moon (Passamaquoddy). Raccoon Moon, Trees Pop Moon (Sioux). Hunger Moon : Dark, Storm Moon : Full (Janic). Snow Moon, Hunger Moon, Trappers Moon (Algonquin).

Other moon names: Wolf Moon, Wild Moon, Q
uickening Moon, Solmonath Moon, Chaste Moon, Horning Moon, Red Moon, Big Winter Moon, Cleansing Moon.


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