astronomical calendar (and a shower of stars that we will not see)

The month of February begins, as did January, in growing phase, coming from the new moon that took place on January 21. This month is not up to the day February 5 when there is a full moon, although both the days before and after it will be seen almost completely shining in the sky. The full moon in February is called snow moon and the reasons are quite obvious: February is one of the coldest months, although January usually registers lower temperatures, but it is in February when more snowfall is usually registered in the northern hemisphere.

Although there are many different names for certain moons, those recorded by The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which come from Native American legends or lore, are almost always used. In this case, the February full moon is named for being the full moon of the month the most snowfall ever recorded in the United States: “More snow usually falls in February than in any other winter month,” Captain Jonathan Carver noted in 1760 in reference to the name of this moon, which was already in use then. The January one, for example, receives the name of wolf moon, in reference to the moment in which the howling of these animals was heard loudest. At the time it was believed that wolves they howled more in winter due to hungeralthough today it is already known that wolves howl for different reasons: to define their territory, to locate the members of their pack, to strengthen social ties or as part of the hunting coordination process.

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The full moon of February 2023 will be the last micromoon of the year, according to the calendar prepared by the astrophysicist Fred Espenak —whom NASA itself calls Mr. Eclipse, retired since 2009 but with an extensive list of publications related to astronomy. The January one was also considered in this way. A micromoon It takes place when the full moon coincides with the apogee, that is, with the moment in which the moon is furthest from Earth, which is why the satellite appears smaller than usual.

No meteor shower (in the north)

Throughout the month of February only one meteor shower, that of the Alpha Centaurids, although this meteor shower is not visible in the northern hemisphere. This phenomenon takes place on February 8, when an average of six meteors per hour can be observed. Where the stars can be seen will be, for example, in countries close to the equator, where the meteor shower will be visible at dawn, while further south the show starts at sunset.

In Central America, the United States and Canada, the constellation will pass very close to the horizon, so it will be quite difficult to see them.

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