Science

Everything You Need to Know About Tuesday’s Super Snow Moon

Yellow moon in the night sky.
A “super snow moon” rises over the banks of the River Loire at Lavau-sur-Loire, western France, on Feb. 19.
Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

Fresh off the heels of last month’s super blood wolf moon, a super snow moon is set to appear in the sky on Tuesday evening. The snow moon is expected to be the biggest and brightest supermoon of 2019.

The full moon already occurred at around 10:53 a.m. EST on Tuesday, but it won’t really be visible until the sky darkens. For maximum impact, NASA recommends watching the moon rise in the east as the sun sets around 5:30 p.m. local time. The supermoon should be visible throughout most of North America. However, snow clouds may soon start to appear in certain parts of the country, which could obstruct some views of the moon. People in cloudy areas can still look at the moon via livestreams from the Virtual Telescope Project and Slooh.

Supermoons occur when the moon comes closest to the Earth in its elliptical orbital path, also known as its perigee. Tuesday’s moon is in fact the closest it will come to the Earth this year—362 miles closer than last month’s blood wolf moon.

Native Americans have dubbed full moons that occur in February as “snow moons” because of the cold weather; that’s why tonight’s event is being called a super snow moon.

The third and final supermoon of the year is set to take place on March 19.