Call it the Worm or Paschal Moon


J Jacobs photo)
J Jacobs photo)


Called the “Worm Moon” because beetle larvae started emerging from tree bark as noted by Captain Jonathan Carver back in the 1760s when he visited the Naudowessie (Dakota) and other Native American tribes, the name did not refer to worms coming out of the ground as once supposed.

Some other names, also from Native American tribes, are Eagle Moon, Goose Moon (Algonquin, Cree), Sugar Moon (Ojiibwe) and the Wind Strong Moon (Pueblo).

But depending on when it comes, before or after the Spring Equinox, it is also called the Lenten or Paschal Full Moon. This year, the equinox was March 19, so it’s the Paschal Moon. 

Whatever you want to think of the March’s full moon name, it will be rising early March 25 with peak illumination at 3 a.m. ET but it will appear full this Sunday night, March 24 beginning at sunset. To find the moon rise time in your area go to Almanac. It also will appear full March 26.

Special effects: “Moonbow” and “super illusion”

A Moonbow is similar to a rainbow because it is an arc caused by rain but happening at night with a little bit of moonlight and raindrops.

The full moon’s super illusion is how large it will appear when it is rising at the horizon. For more full moon information visit Old Farmer’s Almanac/Worm Moon, TimeandDate.

However, March 24-25 has another event so as the ads used to say, “But wait.”

EarthSky notes there is another kind of lunar eclipse, the penumbral lunar eclipse which will be happening so the moon may seem to be in a shadow. The moon eclipse happens with a full moon as the sun, Earth and moon are lined up with Earth is in the middle casting a shadow on the moon.

There are three types of lunar eclipses: Total, partial and penumbral, the last of which is happening beginning Sunday.

Translated, that means the greatest part of the lunar eclipse, begun on March 24, will be at 2:12 a.m. CDT March 25 when nearly all of the moon will be inside the Earth’s outer penumbral shadow. Because it is not in Earth’s darker umbral shadow it will appear darkly shaded but not disappear.


February Snow Moon appears with temps moving up


Full Moon (J Jacobs photo)
Full Moon (J Jacobs photg)

Bright light flooded the bedroom and bath Friday, Feb.24, 2024 without turning on the switch.

It was, and will be for a couple of days, due to the Snow Moon that actually reaches full illumination at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25.

It appeared kind of small on Friday but that is because the February full moon is also a Micro full moon (as opposed to a Supermoon.

That means its apogee is farthest from Earth. In this case that is about 252,225 miles away.

It is called the Snow Moon because February, typically, though not in 2024 in which the Earth is experiencing climate change events, has more snow than the other months.

In the Chicago area, the first measurable snow fell Feb. 23 and covered the ground due to cold temps, through Feb. 24.

But the snow is disappearing Feb. 25 due to unusually high temps. However, look up and see the “Snow Moon” Sunday night.

For more info visit “Old Farmer’s Almanac” and Time and Date

Wolf Moon this week

J Jacobs photo)
J Jacobs photo)

January 2024’s full moon has traditionally been called the Wolf Moon in Celtic cultures, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac and Time and Date.

It is expected to look full on Jan. 24 but will reach full illumination the next day at 12:54 p.m. EST, Jan. 25 and continue to look full on Jan. 26.

Wolves howling at the moon is used in several stories for different reasons say the Farmer’s almanac.  “Howling and other wolf vocalizations are used to define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, and coordinate hunting.”

The January full moon is also called the Moon After Yule. Some Native American cultures say it is the Severe Moon or Center Moon.

Whatever its name, it is cold out now.

Jodie Jacobs

Cold Full Moon


J Jacobs photo)
J Jacobs photo)

Imagine those greeting cards and pictures with Santa driving his sleigh across a full moon. The full December moon rarely happens during Christmas but this year of 2023, it will appear full on Dec. 24-27 even though its full illumination isn’t until 7:33 p.m. EST on Dec. 26.

Called by many cultures the “Cold” Moon, it is the first full Moon after the winter solstice which is this week, Dec. 21,2023. It’s easy to believe given how frigid the temps were Monday, and now, Tuesday.

But the weather is supposed to warm up in the Midwest to the mid and high 40s later in the week, so you may forget by Thursday how cold the week of the winter solstice really can be.

But after all, it is called the Cold Moon. Other names are the Oak Moon, Long Night Moon and usually, the Moon Before Yule.

Find more thoughts on full moon names at  T he Old Farmer’s Almanac  and at Time and Date.

Full moon and partial eclipse for October


Full moon ( J Jacobs photo)
Full moon ( J Jacobs photo)


The October full moon, called the Hunter’s Moon, rises 4:24 p.m., Oct. 28, 2023, but it will be below the horizon so wait until sunset to watch it, says the Old Farmer’s Almanac. However, as with past full moons, you get a preview on Oct. 27 and a continuation on Sept. 29. 

Why the Hunter Moon? It’s related to the autumnal equinox.  It follows the Harvest Moon that came Sept.29 in 2023. Its name came from the time that hunters could better find deer after leaves fell and fields were cleared. 

Other names coming from Native Americans are Falling Leaves and freezing moon.  

We had a partial eclipse of the sun in mid-October. Now it’s the moon’s turn.

If you are outside the eastern part of the US or in Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe you get a bonus. You can watch a partial eclipse of the moon.  Time and Date will stream it live.

September brings another full Supermoon


Summer 2023 supermoon (J Jacobs photo)
Summer 2023 supermoon (J Jacobs photo)


Some sky sites say September’s full moon appears on the 28th of the month. Others say look for it on the 29th. They are both right. The crest of the full moon is 4:57 a.m. CDT on Sept. 29. But you will see the full moon which is another of this year’s supermoons, at sunset on Sept. 28. I like EarthSky for this information.

Followers of Travel Smart know that full moons have different names. Some relate to the season’s weather or crops while others connect to Native American, Celtic and other cultures.

Not surprisingly, September 2023 is the Harvest Moon because it is the full moon closest to the fall equinox, Sept. 23. It is also called the corn moon.

Unless the weather interfers, it will be easy to see. Its larger than usual size and brightness has to do with its closeness to earth and not anything extra.

If you like finding planets in relations to the moon, look for Saturn an hour earlier. It will be moving through the sky ahead of the full moon. Jupiter will be tagging along after the moon.

Another good sky site to find more information is Time and Date.


Triple moon treat ends August

Full Moon (JJacobs photo)
Full Moon (JJacobs photo)


August 2023  ends with a “Blue Moon” but it’s not blue.

The month also ends with a “Supermoon” that seems larger than usual. But even though it appears larger, the moon didn’t actually grow.

It also ends with a full moon. And yes, at full illumination it is full. So what is happening?

First, the phrase “once in a blue moon” came about because it is a somewhat rare occurence. It refers to having two full moons in one month. When a month starts out with a full moon it has enough days to complete the moon’s phase cycle with a second full moon as has happened in the 31 days of August 2023. (It can also be a seasonal blue month it is the third full moon in one season).

Time and Date notes that the last Super Blue Moon was December 2009, and the next one is August 2032. Also, that the next Blue Moon is August 2024, but it isn’t a Supermoon.

According to Space, our second August moon will look larger and brighter than other full moons in 2023. It is one of the year’s Supermoons, a moon that is full at the same time its orbit brings it closest to Earth (perigee).

But the second August full moon will be closer to earth than the other Supermoons. The average distance to the moon according to many scientific sites is 238,855 miles.

However, this August moon will be 221.942 miles, Aug. 30 at 9:36 p.m. EDT.

I like the NASA Science site that explains the August Blue Supermoon.

Jodie Jacobs


August full moons not a typo


Full moon ( J Jacobs photo)

You likely heard the phrase, ‘once in a blue moon.’ It’s about rarity, not color. It’s when one month boasts two full moons. And August 2023 is a prime example.

First, watch for the first full moon, called the Sturgeon Moon, on Aug.1, Peak illumination is 2:32 p.m. Eastern Time, but you should be watching for it after sunset when it’s more visible as it rises in the east.

It is also a Supermoon. Because its orbit brings it close to earth it will appear larger and brighter.

As for its name, it refers to when the Great Lakes’ huge sturgeon are often caught. Menacing looking, it is the North America’s largest fish and is considered prehistoric (136 million years ago) in origin.

For a great Sturgeon exhibit, check out Grand Rapics, MI’s Public Musuem.

The August moon is also called the “Corn” moon by some Native American tribes and many farmers.

Then, look skyward at the end of the month for the second full moon. What we call a “Blue Moon” appears August 30 with peak illumination at 9:36 p.m. ET.

Its appearance late in the month begins the later cycle of monthly full moon dates.

One other full moon note is that the moon will appear full the day before peak illumination and the day after so expect more night lite and picture taking ops.

For more excellent full moon info visit The Old Farmer’s Almanac and Time and Date.


July begins a season of Supermoons


Full moon ( J Jacobs photo)


If you love snapping photos of a full moon, particularly a supermoon, you’ll love this summer season of 2023.

There’s not just one supermoon. There will be four of them lighting up the sky between July 1 and Sept. 28. Yes, there will be what is called a “blue moon.”

As NASA’s Solar System Exploration site explains (NASA capitalizes Earth and Moon when referring to specific planetary orbs), “a supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with the Moon’s closest approach to Earth in its elliptical orbit, a point known as perigee.”

That point is less than 226,000 miles from earth so its closeness means the moon will look larger than usual. It’s called a ‘supermoon’ if within 90 percent of perigee.

Different scientific organizations and sites use different calculations. The word “supermoon” as known today was first used by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. 

The EarthSky website uses supermoon dates and times determined by astronomer Fred Espenak, who worked at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Espenak takes in account changes in the moon’s orbit per lunar cycle.

Earth/Sky uses the Astropixels table for the upcoming supermoons:

July 2-3: 224,895 miles (361,934 km), Aug 1: 222,158 miles (357,530 km), Aug 30-31: 222,043 miles (357,344 km), Sept 28-29: 224,658 miles (361,552 km).

As you look at the different distances you see that the second August supermoon is the closest. And you understand that with two full moons in the same month we’re talking about “once in a blue moon” meaning the rarity of two full moons in the same month.

That second full moon now marks the start of a cycle where the moon is full later in a month as opposed to the early monthly dates we saw so far in 2023.

As to how much larger it looks visit What is a Supermoon? – NASA Solar System Exploration

 July Supermoon

Ready for the July 2023 Supermoon? The Old Farmer’s Almanac calls it the Buck Moon because the male deer’ antlers are in full growth. The bucks shed and regrow antlers producing a larger set each year.

Other July full moon names reference animal and plant changes such as the Salmon Moon, Ripe Corn and Berry Moon.

 When to get the camera (phone) ready? The July supermoon is at peak illumination at 7:39 a.m. ET. July 3, the but will look full July 2 and July 4 so you may get an interesting photo during your local fireworks celebration. But try to also get a photo without fireworks lighting up the sky.


Strawberry Moon in June


Spring full moon (J Jacobs photo)
Spring full moon (J Jacobs photo)

Berries are fresh and plentiful in the grocery stores this June. But if you want one to substitute for the cheese associated with moons look for strawberries to accompany the “Strawberry Moon” the first weekend of June.

Look at the eastern horizon when the moon starts to come up. It will look bigger than normal even though it hasn’t changed size because it will appear close to Earth.

And no, it is more likely to look golden due to the Earth’s atmosphere, than strawberry pink.

Among the origins of June’s full moon names are those given it by Native Americans such as the Algonquian, Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota tribes, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Other names, such as the Honey and Mead Moon, supposedly come from Europe. Does that translate to honeymoon because June is known as a wedding month? Maybe. 

Space gives the time of moon’s full illumination for June 3 and the full moon dates for other 2023 months. But if you look up the nights of June 2 and June 4 you will see what looks like a full moon.

Another site that has good lunar information is Time and Date. It says the moon is now (June 1, 2023) waxing gibbous (as opposed to waning) at 92.5 %, so you know if the weather is clear tonight you will already have a bright night lite even if not completely full.

How to watch the Strawberry June Moon: Nible on strawberries spread across a slice of pound cake and topped with whipped cream.