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When and where to see February's micromoon, known as the Snow Moon

Look up, astronomy fans: February's full moon, a micromoon, will be visible from Thursday evening through Sunday morning, according to NASA.

February's full moon, known as the Snow Moon, will reach peak illumination at 7:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, according to NASA. The Old Farmer's Almanac details specific moonrise times for different ZIP codes across the United States. 

Though a telescope or binoculars will magnify the moon and clarify details on its surface, no special tools are needed to see the full moon. NASA advises people just go outside and look up at the sky. Check local forecasts for detailed information on how clear the night sky will be.

What makes February's full moon a micromoon

Last year saw several supermoons —a phenomenon that occurs when the moon's orbit is closest to Earth at the same time as the moon is full, according to NASA. A micromoon is the opposite of a supermoon, occurring when the moon is at its farthest point from Earth when the moon is full. The moon's distance from Earth varies between about 221,457 miles, and 252,712 miles. 

The moon will be at apogee —when it'll be farthest from the Earth in orbit— on Sunday morning, just a day after the full moon peaks, according to NASA. Because it will be so far away, February's full moon will appear as the smallest of the year, according to astronomy website EarthSky. February's full moon will be the only micromoon this year.

Why is February's full moon known as a Snow Moon

Full moon names often come from seasons, historical crops and the behavior of certain animals. It's believed that the Snow Moon moniker for this month's full moon comes from the typically heavy snowfall that occurs in February, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. 

February's full moon also has other names connected to animals, including Bald Eagle Moon, Ojibwe Bear Moon, Raccoon Moon, Groundhog Moon and Goose Moon. It's also known as the Month of the Bony Moon and Hungry Moon because, historically, food was hard to come by at this time of year.

Get ready for spring's first full moon

The Snow Moon is the last full moon of winter. 

Spring starts on March 19, several days before the Worm Moon, which reaches peak illumination on March 25. March's full moon is also known as the Paschal Full Moon this year because it will be the first full moon of spring.

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