Snow Moon brightens the winter night sky this weekend


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Snow Moon hit its peak at approximately 2:30 a.m. Sunday, but will still be quite bright Sunday night wherever visible.

The moon will be at its highest point in the winter sky around midnight, but was not visible in Ohio due to a thick cloud cover. However, the moon was quite illuminating Friday night between the clouds, because it is one of the full moons closest to Earth in 2020.

As far as the “super” part, coined in 1979, that comes from the fact that the moon is at the closest point in its orbit to Earth (perigee).

According to NASA, Saturday night’s supermoon was 225,234 miles away from Earth, appearing about 7 percent larger and up to 14 percent brighter than the smallest full moon of the year. The venerable Sky & Telescope magazine has a criterion of 223,000 miles or closer, which means the Snow Moon this year is not quite a supermoon.

On average, the moon is about 238,000 miles away from Earth.

The Snow Moon is also called the Storm Moon or the Hunger Moon, this second name because bad weather and heavy snowstorms made it difficult to hunt, according to the Maine Farmer’s Almanac.

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