Tuesday, January 22, 2008
THE MOONS OF 2008:
Welcome to the "Full Wolf Moon'. That's the name of tonight's full Moon. Well not exactly, because the exact time of this, the first full Moon of 2008, was at 7:35 am CST (8:35 am EST/1:35 pm UT)this morning. Still the Moon tonight is for all intents and purposes "full". Each of the full Moons of the year has traditional names. Most are from eastern Algonquin language group native tribes, but some are from the early European settlers. The following is a list of the Moons of 2008, arranged by date. Exact times are given in CST/EDT and UT in the first and last parts of the year and in CDT/EDT and UT when daylight savings time applies. To convert from these times to your own time zone see the Time and Date website. For an extensive guide to things lunar, including all the phases of the Moon, and prominent lunar features as well as an on-line lunar map see Space.Com's Moon Guide.
1)Jan 22 (7:35am CST/8:35am EST/1:35pm UT): The Full Wolf Moon was, of course, named for the hungry wolves that roamed outside of native villages in the depths of winter. Some tribes called this the 'Full Snow Moon', though most applied this name to the following full Moon. Europeans called this the 'Old Moon' or the 'Moon After Yule'.
2)Feb. 20(9:30pm CST/10:30pm EST/3:30am Feb 21 UT). Known as the 'Full Snow Moon, this was the ,month when snow was usually the heaviest in eastern North America. Because of the snow hunting becomes difficult, and some tribes referred to this full Moon as the 'Full Hunger Moon'. As Molly mentioned earlier on this blog this will be the night of a full lunar eclipse. Stay tuned for more details.
3)March 21 (1:40 pm CDT/2:40pm EDT/7:40pm UT). In the east of North America (though not here in Winnipeg) this is the month when the ground begins to thaw and the first earthworms appear. Hence the name the 'Full Worm Moon'. In the northern parts of the east the tribes knew this as the 'Full Crow Moon' when the crows begin to put up an increasing racket as spring approaches. It was also know as the 'Full Crust Moon' for the way that the freezing and thawing cycle gives a extra "crustiness" to the surface of the snow. Yet another name is the 'Full Sap Moon' when the temperatures and the freeze/thaw cycle makes it possible to begin tapping maple trees for sap.
Last year's first lunar eclipse happened on this Moon, on March 3rd. In Christian chronology this is also the Paschal Full Moon(the first full Moon of spring). Easter is dated as the first Sunday following the Paschal Moon, and this year this will fall on March 23rd. This will be the earliest Easter since 1913. Last year Easter was on April 8th.
4)April 20 (5:25am CDT/6:25am EDT/11:25 UT) This is known as the Full Pink Moon, from the colour of ground phlox, one of the earliest wildflowers in eastern North America. There are a number of other native names for this Moon, the 'Full Sprouting Grass Moon', the "Egg Moon" and, in coastal areas, the 'Full Fish Moon' when fish return to the rivers to spawn.
5)May 19 (8:11pm CDT/9:11pm EDT/2:11am May 20 UT) This is known as the 'Full Flower Moon' for obvious reasons. It was also called the 'Full Corn Planting Moon' and the 'Milk Moon'. The Moon will come to its apogee a mere 12 hours after the time of this full Moon, and thus this will seem to be the apparently smallest full Moon of the year (about 12.3% smaller than the largest, that of December 12).
6)June 18 (12:30pm CDT/1:30pm EDT/6:30pm UT). The 'Full Strawberry Moon'. Known to the Europeans as the 'Rose Moon'.
7)July 18 (2:59am CDT/3:59am EDT/8:59am UT) This is the approximate time when the first antlers begin to appear on male deers in the east. Also know as the 'Full Thunder Moon' because of the frequency of thunderstorms this time of year. Called the 'Full hay Moon' by some Europeans.
8)August 16 (4:16pm CDT/5:16pm EDT/10:16pm UT) Called the 'Full Sturgeon Moon' by tribes living near major bodies of water because this i9s the time of year when fishing for this species is the best. Also known as the 'Full red Moon' because evening haze often gives a reddish tone to the rising Moon this time of year. Other names include the 'Green Corn Moon' and the 'Grain Moon'. This Moon will have a partial lunar eclipse this year, visible from Europe, Africa and western Asia. Last year there was a second total lunar eclipse on August 28th, visible in the western part of North America.
9)Sept. 15 (4:13am CDT/5:13am EDT/10:13am UT). This will be this year's 'Harvest Moon'. this title is given to the full Moon that occurs closest to the Autumnal Equinox. Usually the Moon rises about 50 minutes later each night, but near the equinoxes it only rises 25 to 30 minutes later in the USA and 10 to 20 minutes in Canada. This means that there is extra moonlight to work on the harvest on several days near to this full Moon.
10)Oct. 14 (3:02 pm CDT/4:02pm EDT/9:02pm UT). This is known as the 'Full Hunters' Moon'. As the leaves are shed and grass begins to wilt prey animals can be seen and tracked more easily.In addition many animals have fattened up for the winter. Thus the best time of the year to hunt.
11)Nov. 13 (12:17am CST/1:17am EST/6:17am UT) The 'Full Beaver Moon' was traditionally a good time to trap beaver before water bodies froze for the winter. Beavers at this time of year are particularly active in making final preparations for winter. This full Moon has also been called the "Frosty Moon'.
12)Dec. 12 (10:37am CST/11:37 EST/4:37 UT). Some tribes called this the 'Full Cold Moon' and others called it the 'Full Long Nights Moon'. the reasons for both names are obvious. Europeans often referred to it as the 'Moon Before Yule'. On this day at 10:00pm UT the Moon will be at perigee (its closest approach to the Earth), and thus this will appear as the apparently largest full Moon of the year.
Sorry folks, no Blue Moon this year.