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Full Moon Facts

last updated: 20 Jul 2020

What is a Full Moon?

The "Full Moon" is the name of the Moon phase when the entire face of the Moon is fully illuminated..

Technically, the Moon is 100% illuminated only for a short period (seconds).
However, the convention is to call the Moon "Full" when it is illuminated from 100% down to 98% (95% in some places) and this can usually take one day before or after the 100% moment.

What is a Blue Moon?

A Blue Moon is a rare Full Moon.

Currently, we have two definitions for the Blue Moon.
The older definition says that the
Blue Moon is the third full moon in a season containing 4 total full moons.
The most recent definition, says that
When a month has two Full Moons, the second Full Moon is called a Blue Moon.
It appears that the latter is the more accepted definition.

What is a Blood Moon

A "Blood Moon" happens during a lunar eclipse, when it turns a reddish color due to sunlight bending through the Earth's atmosphere.

Supermoon and Micromoon

The Moon has an elliptical orbit around Earth.
When the Full Moon is closer to the Earth, it is known as a "Supermoon" or "Super Full Moon" and when the Full Moon is farthest away, it is called "Micromoon".

Why do we always see the same side of the Moon?

Because Moon rotates around Earth and its axis in the same time interval (27 days).
How come?
The Earth's gravity slowed the Moon's rotation on its axis enough to match its orbital period (the time it takes the Moon to go around Earth). This effect is observable in many other moons.

Dark Side of the Moon?

We call the "Near Side" - the visible side of the Moon and the "Far Side" - the invisible one.
It is inaccurate to call the Far Side - the "Dark Side" as this side is illuminated in different phases and even fully illuminated when Moon is at the "New Moon" phase.

Moon formation

There are more theories but the leading theory supports the Moon was formed when a body the size of Mars collided with Earth about 4.5 billion years ago.

Earth-Moon system - the double planet system.

Some scientists refer to the Earth-Moon system as a double planet system simply because the Moon is very large. The Moon is bigger than the planet Pluto.
The Moon's diameter is about 1/4 the diameter of the Earth and roughly 49 Moons could fit inside the Earth.

Is the Moon made of cheese?

There is an anecdote that Americans had a survey conducted in 1988 where 13% of those surveyed believed that the moon is made of cheese.
We are still looking for details on this, but it looks more like a joke. If you have more info on the subject please email us at howdy.fullmoon.gmail.com

Life is easier on the Moon

The spacesuits worn by the astronauts to the Moon weighed 180 pounds (81kg) on Earth, but thirty pounds (14kg) on the Moon because of the lower gravity.

Moon phases

The Moon has 4 phases which are precise moments that only take a very short amount of time.
Full Moon (FM), Third Quarter Moon (TQ), New Moon (NM), and First Quarter Moon (FQ).

Also Moon has 4 intermediate longer phases (more like sectors) between those 4 phases as it follows:
(FM) -> Waning Gibbous -> (TQ) -> Waning Crescent -> (NM) -> Waxing Crescent -> (FQ) -> Waxing Gibbous.
Those intermediate phases take 6-7 days each.

Moon names

In US, Full Moon manes came from the Native Americans (North America), then the settlers took those names and used or changed them.

Month Moon name Alternative older name
Jan Full Wolf Moon Old Moon
Feb Full Snow Moon Bony Moon
Mar Full Worm Moon Windy Moon
Apr Full Pink Moon Grass Moon
May Full Flower Moon Planting Moon
Jun Full Strawberry Moon Rose Moon
Jul Full Buck Moon Thunder Moon
Aug Full Sturgeon Moon Green Corn Moon
Sep Full Corn Moon (or Harvest Moon) Fruit Moon
Oct Full Hunter’s Moon Moon of Falling Leaves
Nov Full Beaver Moon Trading Moon
Dec Full Cold Moon Long Night Moon

Moon photography

If you want to explore the night Moon photography, here are a few things you could find useful:
- You have to be able to set very long exposure times on your camera - so have a camera that can do that
- You absolutely need a tripod
- Don't forget the extra batteries for your camera
- Experiment and take notes. So you might need something to write and maybe a folding chair, folding table, notebook, light.

Moon with a capital letter or not?

The consensus seems to be that we write "Moon" when we talk about Earth's moon and "moon" when we talk about any other moon (a common stellar body).
So "moon" is a generic name but in our case it is also the full mane of our moon.

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