Did you see the full “Snow Moon?” Rising at dusk on Saturday, Feb. 24, the year’s second full moon was also its smallest-looking. However, that didn’t prevent photographers worldwide from capturing it next to some famous landmarks as it appeared dramatically above the eastern horizon.

Also known as the Hungry Moon, Storm Moon and Wolf Moon, the arrival of the “Snow Moon” signaled the end of the Spring Festival and the start of the Lantern Festival—also called Shang Yuan and Yuan Xiao Jie—part of Lunar New Year celebrations in Asia and around the world.

The “Snow Moon” was also the year’s smallest full moon. This opposite of a supermoon happens because the moon’s orbit of Earth is slightly elliptical, so one full moon of the year must occur when it’s at its farthest from Earth (a point called apogee).

A rising full moon always looks orange because the sun’s light upon it is reflected to the viewer through the densest part of Earth’s atmosphere. Light towards the blue end of the spectrum has shorter wavelengths, so it’s scattered on particles in the Earth’s atmosphere, while light towards the red end of the spectrum has longer wavelengths, so it travels through more easily.

The “Snow Moon” also sees Earth’s natural satellite on the cusp of an “eclipse season” that will end dramatically in North America. The next full moon, the “Worm Moon,” will occur on Mar. 25 and move through the Earth’s outer shadow in space. The result will be a slight penumbral lunar eclipse for the night side of Earth, including North and South America, Europe, East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

The penumbral lunar eclipse will not be as dramatic as a total lunar eclipse‚also known as a “Blood Moon”—but it will be worth observing. During a penumbral lunar eclipse, Earth partially blocks the sun’s rays from reaching the full moon, causing it to darken over a few hours. Look out for the strange sight of a curved line across the lunar surface—the shadow of Earth.

With the full moon almost perfectly lined up with Earth and the sun, a solar eclipse will occur two weeks laterr. But not just any solar eclipse. Though the partial phases will be visible across North America on Monday, Apr. 8, a total solar eclipse—one of nature’s most dramatic sights—will be seen from within a path of totality about 115 miles (185 kilometers) wide that will fall across parts of northwest Mexico, 15 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces.

For the very latest on the total solar eclipse—including travel and lodging options—check my main feed for new articles each day.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

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