Snowy Moon. When the last full moon of winter will come

On February 24, the second full moon of 2024 will occur. Some people call it the Snow Moon. It’s hard to say how much this name will correspond to the actual weather conditions in Ukraine on this night. However, if you want to observe our planet’s satellite, we will tell you when it is best to do so.

Сніжна повня
Snowy full moon

Snowy Moon

The second full moon of 2024 will occur on February 24. This day will be the second anniversary of Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, so it is quite possible that someone will try to link these two events by making the most incredible assumptions.

Anyway, the February full moon is already associated with a lot of dubious stories. Recently, it has been increasingly called the Snowy Moon. This name came to us from the United States, where each day of the year when our satellite’s disk is fully illuminated by the Sun has its own name.

It is believed that the second full moon of the year got its name because of the large amount of snow that supposedly falls on the ground under its reign. It sounds quite convincing, because the northern regions of the Earth are indeed mostly covered with snow in February.

Погода в Україні 24 лютого
Weather in Ukraine on February 24. Source:

But as with other full moons of the year, there is no evidence that settlers from Europe actually adopted their names from indigenous Americans. After all, the first mention of them dates back to the 1930s. By the way, the indigenous peoples of North America call this full moon a hungry one, which is even more logical than “snowy”. After all, water in solid form covers the ground all winter long… meanwhile it is in February, when the food stocks harvested in the fall start coming to an end.

A micro-moon

It is highly unlikely that the February 2024 full moon in Ukraine will actually be snowy. The temperature is expected to be above freezing throughout the country, and precipitation, if any, will be in the form of rain. However, it is known for sure that this full moon will be a microlmoon.

Супермісяць та Мікромісяць
Supermoon and Micromoon

Our natural satellite moves around the Earth in a not quite circular orbit. Its farthest point (apogee) is 405,400 thousand kilometers away, and the closest (perigee) is only 362600 kilometers away. And the rotation period does not coincide with the phase change. Because of this, the size of the lunar disk, illuminated by the sun, changes all the time, although the difference is not very striking.

Thanks to the media, people are best familiar with the case when the full moon coincides with the apogee of the moon’s orbit. At this moment, the disk of our satellite looks the largest. We call this phenomenon a supermoon.

And this time it will be the other way around. Our satellite will be near the farthest point of its orbit and therefore will look relatively small. This phenomenon is called a micromoon. It occurs every year, but in different months, and no abnormal phenomena are observed in association with it.

Місяць ввечері 24 лютого
The moon in the evening of February 24. Source:

When to watch the February full moon

The full moon itself, i.e. the phase of maximum illumination of the visible side of the Moon by the Sun, will occur on February 24 at 14.30 Kyiv time. The satellite of our planet will not be visible at this time, and not because of sunlight. At that time, it will still be behind the horizon.

The moon will rise only at 17:22. It will appear in the sky in the east in the constellation Leo and will travel across the sky all night to set at 7:15 the next morning. So, you will be able to admire it as much as you want, if the weather conditions allow.