In most cases, the full moon is not quite full. The moon rotates so that we always see the same side of it, yet some of it is always in shadow. The moon is only completely full when Earth, the Sun and the moon are in perfect alignment, which results in a lunar eclipse.
Additionally, the moon can occasionally be full twice a month, a phenomenon known as a blue moon.
But when is the next full moon and what is it?
When is the next full moon?
On Monday November 27, 2023, when the moon is completely illuminated and facing the sun in its orbit around the Earth, the next full moon will be visible.
What is a full moon?
A full moon is a phase of the moon – phases are affected by the relative positions of the moon, Sun and Earth.
We only see the parts of the moon that are lit by the Sun, as well as light from distant stars and the reflection of light from the Earth. But the Sun provides most of the light that allows us to see the moon.
A full moon occurs when the moon is on the other side of the Earth to the Sun because this allows the moon to be fully lit.
How many full moons are there a year and what is a blue moon?
Most years see 12 full moons but, around every two to three years, there are 13 full moons in one calendar year. This 13th moon is known as a Blue Moon, which we witnessed in August 2023. A Blue Moon can also be used to refer to the second full moon that occurs within one calendar month.
Full moon dates in 2023
April 6: Pink Moon
May 5: Flower Moon
June 3: Strawberry Moon
July 3: Buck Moon
August 1: Sturgeon Moon
August 30: Blue Moon
September 29: Harvest Moon
October 28: Hunter’s Moon
November 27: Beaver Moon
December 26: Cold Moon
What are the names of the full moons?
Full moon nicknames mostly come from Native American culture. Many tribes assigned either 12 or 13 full moons to the year, and these names were later adopted by colonial Americans, before entering popular culture.
January’s full moon is called the Wolf Moon. It’s named after the howling of wolves, hungry after the lack of food available in midwinter. January’s full moon has other nicknames, including Old Moon and Ice Moon.
The full moon in February is called the Snow Moon, after the snowy weather in North America. February’s full moon is also known as the Storm Moon and Hunger Moon.
March’s full moon is known as the Worm Moon. Native Americans named this moon after the worm trails that would appear in the ground after it thawed at the end of winter. This moon is also called the Chaste Moon, Death Moon, and Crust Moon.
April’s full moon is called the Pink Moon — named after an early blooming wildflower. Other cultures call April’s moon the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon.
May’s full moon is known by many cultures as the Flower Moon, after the flowers that bloom in spring. It’s also called the Hare Moon and the Milk Moon, among other names.
June’s full moon is known as the Strawberry Moon, named after the harvesting of strawberries during this month. In Europe, it’s known as the Rose Moon, and it is known as the Hot Moon in other cultures.
The full moon in July is known as the Buck Moon, which got its name from the time of year when male deer begin to regrow their antlers. It’s also known as the Thunder Moon and Hay Moon.
The full moon in August is known as the Sturgeon Moon by North American fishing tribes because the fish species appear during this month. It’s also known as the Green Corn Moon and the Red Moon. There will also be a second moon, a Super Blue moon, this year, on August 30-31.
September’s full moon is called the Full Corn Moon, because this is the time of year when crops are gathered, following the summer season. It’s also known as the Harvest Moon as it is often the nearest full moon to the autumnal equinox.
The full moon in October is called the Hunter’s Moon, as October is the preferred moon to hunt deer and foxes who are no longer able to hide among crops. It’s also called the Travel Moon and the Dying Grass Moon.
November’s full moon is called the Beaver Moon. Some people believe it’s named after the time of year Native Americans set up beaver traps, while others believe it comes from the time of year beavers build their winter dams.
December’s full moon is known as the Cold Moon, for the cold weather that winter brings. It’s also known as the Long Night Moon.