Be cautious viewing Snow Moon

In various cultures around the world, many names are given to February full moons, including the Storm Moon, Hunger Moon, the Chinese Lantern Festival Moon and the Full Moon of Tu B'Shevat.

According to astronomer Fred Espenak, the February 9 full moon is a supermoon, because it is within 90 per cent of its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.

This means that it seems up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than normal, seen from Earth.

How close does the moon's orbit have to be to gain the supermoon label?

It's one of the biggest full moons of 2020.

However, others claim that a supermoon only occurs when the center of the moon is less than 223,694 miles (360,000 kilometers) from the center of the Earth.

How will February's Full Moon affect you?

If you go by the looser definition, it is a supermoon.

A "snow moon" is set appear over London during the next few days.

This evening the bright star appearing to the right of the full moon will be Regulus. So there, all you supermoon hype mongers!

Debate aside, there will be a full moon this weekend, and here are some details about its timing and its common nicknames. The so-called snow moon will reach its fullest phase at 2:33 a.m. Eastern time on Sunday, Feb. 9, which means it will appear nearly completely full on Saturday night, totally full on Sunday and close to full on Monday.

According to NASA, a supermoon occurs when the moon's orbit is "closest (perigee) to Earth at the same time it is full". Because it is in February, this particular supermoon is also called a snow moon.

The term snow moon comes from northeastern Native American tribes who experienced the heaviest snowfall this time of year, according to the Farmer's Almanac.

The best time to see the Snow Moon will be the night of Saturday, February 8 or early on Sunday, February 9 depending on your location.

Yet another nickname is the "little starvation moon".

"On the morning of the full Moon on 9 February as morning twilight begins, the planet Jupiter will be the brightest planet in the sky, appearing in the southeast at about eight degrees above the horizon", he said.