The full moon of February shone in stunning photos across the world.
From celebrants of China’s Lantern Festival that honored the first full moon of the Chinese new year, to astronauts on the International Space Station, the full Snow Moon turned heads and shone in photos despite being the smallest “micromoon” of 2023.
The full moon of February, called the Snow Moon in some Native American cultures, occurred in the eastern U.S. at 1:28 p.m. (1828 GMT) on Sunday (Feb. 5), per the U.S. Naval Observatory. In New York City, the was visible at 5:10 p.m. — about eight minutes before sunset, meaning it was visible at the same time in the sky as the sun.
Related: February full moon 2023: The Snow Moon rises with Jupiter, Mars and Orion
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The Full Snow Moon was the smallest full moon of the year due to the distance from Earth the moon was at in its orbit around our planet. Called a “micromoon,” the Full Snow Moon of February was the opposite of a supermoon and was up to 14% smaller than the moon at its largest extent. Most observers, however, were unable to see the difference.
The annual Lantern Festival in China, in other Asian countries, and in communities around the world celebrated the arrival of the moon, the first of the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. The festival honors deceased ancestors during Yuan, the first month of the lunar calendar, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
Astronauts on the ISS spotted the moon quite easily. “The sight of the full moon rising from the pale blue atmosphere seen from the ISS is breathtakingly beautiful,” wrote Koichi Wakata, an astronaut with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), on Twitter. (Translation from Japanese provided by Google.)
Astrophotographers in the U.S. and other countries spotted the Full Snow Moon and captured footage of our neighbor shining in the sky.
Editor’s Note: If you snap a photo of the moon and would like to share it with Space.com’s readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to email@example.com.
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of “Why Am I Taller?” (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.