Science

Is it a Full Moon tonight? Why is the Moon so big?


Stargazers looking up at the Moon tonight might think we already have a Full Moon. But the lunar orb is only about 93 percent full and is still in its Waxing Gibbous phase. The Moon’s full phase only occurs when the Moon is positioned directly across from the Sun.

The Moon finds itself in this position roughly every 29 days, which is the length of the monthly lunar cycle.

And we only see the Moon at night because it reflects the Sun’s light back at us.

The US space agency said: “If we could magically look down on our solar system, we would see that the half of the Moon facing the Sun is always lit. But the lit side does not always face the Earth

“As the Moon circles the Earth, the amount of the lit side we see changes.”

These changes are known as the lunar phases and they repeat every month.

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This Full Moon is also known as the Fruit Moon as many fruits ripen around this time of the year.

September’s Full Moon is also sometimes known as the Barley Moon or Harvest Moon as it falls near the autumn equinox.

Mr Johnston said: “This Full Moon corresponds to the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival.

“The seventh month of the Chinese calendar is the Ghost Month and the fifteenth day of this month – a Full Moon day – is called Ghost Day, on which ghosts and spirits, including those of deceased ancestors, come out to visit the living.”

When are the Full Moons this year?

January 10 – Wolf Moon

February 9 – Snow Moon

March 9 – Worm Moon

April 8 – Pink Moon

May 7 – Flower Moon

June 5 – Strawberry Moon

July 5 – Buck Moon

August 3 – Sturgeon Moon

September 2 – Corn Moon

October 1 and October 31 – Hunter’s Moon

November 30 – Beaver Moon

December 30 – Cold Moon





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