Full Moon 2021: Get ready for 12 Full Moons, 3 Supermoons, 2 Eclipses and 1 Blue Moon
Super blood moon: Giant full moon turns red over
The last Full Moon to grace the night skies was December’s aptly named Cold Moon. The Full Moon peaked in brightness early on December 30, ensuring New Year’s eve was brightly illuminated by more than just fireworks. The Moon is now in its Waning Gibbous phase and as of the night of January 4, is only about 67 percent illuminated.
The Moon will continue to shrink before our eyes until January 13, when completely shrouded in darkness, the New Moon will arrive.
After that, the next Full Moon will appear on the evening of January 28 when the lunar orb will find itself 180 degrees from the Sun.
January’s Full Moon is traditionally known as Wolf Moon after hungry beasts prowling the forests around this time of the year.
And there will be 11 more unusually named Full Moons this year, including much-beloved lunar eclipses and Supermoons.
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When are the 12 Full Moons this year?
Each year there are between 12 and 13 Full Moons depending on how the lunar cycle syncs with our calendar.
The lunar cycle lasts about 29.5 days which explains why Full Moons peak on a different date each year.
Occasionally, two Full Moons will peak in the same calendar month – a rare occurrence known as a Blue Moon.
The last time we had two Full Moons in a single month was in October 2020.
This astronomical coincidence produced an even rarer Full Halloween Moon.
Here are all of the Full Moons in 2021:
Wolf Moon – January 28
Snow Moon – February 27
Worm Moon – March 28
Pink Moon – April 27
Flower Moon – May 26
Strawberry Moon – June 24
Buck Moon – July 31
Sturgeon Moon – August 30
Harvest Moon – September 29
Hunter’s Moon – October 28
Beaver Moon – November 27
Cold Moon – December 27
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When are the three Supermoons in 2021?
A Full Moon will sometimes peak in brightness near its closest orbital pass of the planet – so-called apogee.
When this happens, astronomers refer to such a Full Moon as a Supermoon as it can appear slightly bigger and brighter than normal.
The opposite is true for a Micromoon – a Full Moon at perigee or its farthest orbit of our planet.
This year, astronomer Fred Espenak has predicted a trifecta of Supermoons will fall on the nights of March 28, April 27 and May 26.
Even more excitingly, one of these Supermoons will coincide with a Blood Moon lunar eclipse.
When are the two lunar eclipses in 2021?
The Moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow on two occasions this year.
The first eclipse will be a major, total eclipse on May 26 over east Asia, Australia, the Pacific and the Americas.
Total eclipses can give the Full Moon a rusty brown tint due to light refracted through Earth’s atmosphere and are sometimes known as Blood Moons.
The Moon will once again dip into Earth’s shadow on November 19, although only partially.
The partial eclipse will be visible from the Americas, parts of northern Europe, east Asia, Australia and the Pacific.
When is the Blue Moon in 2021?
Blue Moons are defined as either the second of two Full Moons in a calendar month, or the third of four Full Moons in a calendar season.
The former appeared on Halloween night last year, and the latter will appear on August 22 this year.
EarthSky astronomers Bruce McClure and Deborah Byrd said: “In recent years, people have been using the name Blue Moon for these two different sorts of Moons: second of two Full Moons in a calendar month, or third of four Full Moons in a single season.”
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