SPECTACULAR full moons illuminate the sky every month.
After January’s stunning Wolf Moon, here is a run down on when to gaze up in 2022 – and why.
The Wolf Moon rising over Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire[/caption]
When is the next full moon?
A full moon appears fully illuminated from earth during a specific lunar phase.
This happens once every 29.5 days, meaning there are 12 full every year – though sometimes there can be 13.
Each has is defined by its own unique name and when it appears.
For 2022, this is:
- January 17 – Wolf Moon
- February 16 – Snow Moon
- March 18 – Worm Moon
- April 16 – Pink Moon
- May 16 – Flower Moon
- June 14 – Strawberry Moon
- July 13 – Buck Moon
- August 11 – Sturgeon Moon
- September 10 – Harvest Moon
- October 9 – Hunter’s Moon
- November 8 – Beaver Moon
- December 7 – Cold Moon
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Why is there a full moon in the middle of the day?
You may have wondered why you can often see the moon in the middle of the day, particularly when it is full.
It turns out the answer is actually incredibly simple: the moon and stars are always somewhere in the sky, we just can’t always see them.
The sun is so bright during the day that it can “drown” out the light from the moon and stars, but on darker days the moon can shine.
But the reason it is not always visible during the day is all down the the positioning of the moon and whether it is reflecting enough light to be as bright, or brighter, than the blue sky.
After a full moon, when Earth is roughly between the sun and the moon and appears illuminated, comes a morning moon.
What is a super moon?
A super moon is an impressive sight where the startlingly bright moon looks so close you could almost touch it.
It is a combination of two different astronomical effects and happens when a new or full moon coincides with a perigee – the moon’s closet point to Earth in its monthly orbit.
A moon has to come within 90 per cent of its closest approach to Earth to be formally defined as a super moon.
This is relatively rare, occurring just a few times a year.
In 2022, there will be a super moon on June 14 and on July 13.
On these days, the moon will appear up to 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter.