This February 11, the Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 00:33 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Snow Moon because the heaviest snows usually fell during this time of the year. Since hunting is difficult, this moon has also been known by some tribes as the Full Hunger Moon, since the harsh weather made hunting difficult.
On Friday, 18 October, this month’s full moon occurs and with it, weather permitting, we’ll see a penumbral lunar eclipse – so called because only the full moon passes through the outer bright rim of the Earth’s shadow, or penumbra, as it rises in the east at sunset. Unlike total eclipses, in which Earth’s umbra — the central region of its shadow — darkens the moon entirely, a penumbral lunar eclipse involves only a slight dimming. Still, sky watchers should expect to see a much more subtle sight with a maximum shadowing on the lower half of the full moon occurring at 6.50 pm. CDT. Sky watchers should start observing the moon at sunset. Best place for observing this Friday’s eclipse is in Europe, Africa and the Middle East where it will be visible as a total eclipse. From Baton Rouge however, this penumbral eclipse should last about 45-minutes. The next lunar eclipse to be seen from our area will be Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Mark your calendars!