Reddit | SuperiorMango8

The Super Snow Moon Is As Big As It Gets And It's Happening Tonight

Anyone who knows an astronomy geek well enough will almost be able to set their watches to certain times of year where they're really excited about something going on in the night sky.

Despite the fact that it's usually hard to notice if you aren't looking for it, each event often has a cool-sounding name and is worth seeing if you know when it's going to show up.

Fortunately, we've got you covered on that front.

Tonight, we'll be able to get a good look at the Snow Moon.

Reddit | AchEmAre

According to, that refers to the point where the moon is at the closet point in its orbit — called a perigee — and at the fullest and brightest it'll look all year.

While it'll be the second "supermoon" event this year, it'll also be the closer perigee of the two.

Although the moon officially becomes full at 10:53 am EST today, it won't be so easy to spot until the evening strikes.

Reddit | zjpurdy

As far as anyone watching the skies will be able to tell, the moon will rise at about 5:46 pm EST, or around 10 minutes after the sun sets. The U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) has suggested that the Snow Moon will rise at 5:46 pm EST and set at 7:35 am tomorrow morning.

And since it'll go back down at about 7:35 the next day, that means there will be quite a window to see it.

Reddit | bfhooolm

Of course, the night sky is pretty big, so onlookers should check around the constellation Leo if they're having trouble finding it.

As impressive as the Snow Moon is, it's sharing the stage with a few other planetary delights.

Reddit | ricearoni_jabroni

If you happened to be up at 6:02 am EST, you might've caught a glimpse of Mercury and Neptune experiencing a conjunction, otherwise known as the point where the two planets are the closest together.

The same thing happened to Venus and Saturn at about 8:50 am EST.

Some folks might have remembered seeing the awesomely-named "Super Blood Wolf Moon" last month.

Reddit | -vozER

Although the Snow Moon will look very different from that, they actually happen for similar reasons. In both cases, they happened when the moon was on the opposite side of the earth from the sun.

In the case of the Super Blood Wolf Moon, the moon's orbit put it in the shadow of the earth. Despite the fact that this was a total lunar eclipse, it didn't turn black, but rather red because of light refracted through our atmosphere.

But most of the time, the moon is completely illuminated by the sun when it becomes a "supermoon."

Reddit | SkylerRaye

And since there's about a five-degree difference in the tilt between tonight's Snow Moon's orbit and the earth's, the moon should miss our planet's shadow and show up as usual.

While the Snow Moon will show up much brighter than usual, you won't need to look at it with any special glasses.

Reddit | robertandheather

According to, it's not actually dangerous for our eyes.

This extra brightness will just make it more difficult to make out the moon's features because there won't be as many shadows to help fill those details in.

So why is this called a Snow Moon, anyway?

Reddit | SuperiorMango8

The answer is that in mid-northern latitudes such as where most of the U.S. is positioned, this supermoon happens to appear when the weather is at its coldest. At least, that's why it was called a Snow Moon in the Old Farmer's Almanac.

Other names for it include the Bear Moon, the Great Moon, and the Goose Moon.