What are The Different Types of Full Moons?

When there is no lunar eclipse, the full moon is the lunar phase when the Moon appears fully illuminated from Earth’s perspective, though there are still some dark spots. This happens when the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon and their ecliptic longitudes differ by 180°. This means that the near side of the lunar hemisphere is completely sunlit and appears as a circular disk. The full moon happens about once a month. Also, this talks about the major phases of the moon.

A synodic month is a period between a full moon and the next repetition of the same phase. As a result, in lunar calendars where each month begins on the day of the new moon, the full moon occurs on the 14th or 15th day of the lunar month. Because a calendar month is made up of a whole number of days, a lunar calendar month can be either 29 or 30 days long. On the other hand, there are 13 moons and they have meanings as well.

Characteristics of Full Moon

A full moon is commonly thought to be an event lasting a full night, even though its phase as seen from Earth continuously waxes and wanes and is full only when waxing ends and waning begins. About half of these maximum full moons may be visible in any given location, with the other half occurring during the day when the full moon is below the horizon. Many almanacs list full moons not only by date but also by precise time, which is usually in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). When preparing a calendar for a different time zone, standard monthly calendars that include lunar phases may be off by one day.

Because shadows vanish during the full moon, it is generally a poor time for astronomical observations of the Moon. Other observations are difficult because the bright sunlight reflected by the Moon, amplified by the opposition surge, outshines many stars. The full moon was closer to Earth on December 12, 2008, than it had been in the previous 15 years. In the popular press, this was referred to as a supermoon. On March 19, 2011, there was another full supermoon, this time closer to Earth than at any other time in the previous 18 years. On November 14, 2016, there was another full supermoon, this time closer to Earth than it had been in the previous 68 years.

Different Types of Full Moons


  • January: Wolf Moon

The full moon in January is named after the howling of hungry wolves lamenting the scarcity of food in the dead of winter. The full moon this month is also known as the old moon and the ice moon.

  • February: Snow Moon

Because of the cold, snowy weather in February in North America, the full moon is known as the snow moon. Other common names include storm moon and hunger moon.

  • March: Worm Moon

The worm moon was named by Native Americans after the worm trails that appeared in the newly thawed ground on the last full moon of winter. Other names for the moon include the chaste moon, death moon, crust moon, and sap moon, which is named after the tapping of maple trees.

  • April: Pink Moon

The full moon in April is known as the pink moon by Northern Native Americans, after a species of early blooming wildflower. This moon is known as the sprouting grass moon, the egg moon, and the fish moon in other cultures.

  • May: Flower Moon

Because of the abundant blooming that occurs when spring finally arrives, many cultures refer to May’s full moon as the flower moon. Other names for the hare moon include the corn planting moon and the milk moon.

  • June: Strawberry Moon

In North America, the full moon in June is named after the harvesting of strawberries. The rose moon has been named by Europeans, while the hot moon has been named by other cultures to mark the start of the summer heat.

  • July: Buck Moon

Male deer shed their antlers each year and begin to regrow them in July, hence the Native American name for the full moon in July. Because of the summer storms this month, some people refer to this moon as the thunder moon. Other names include the hay moon, which is named after the July hay harvest.

  • August: Sturgeon Moon

Because the species increased in number during this month, North American fishing tribes dubbed August’s full moon the “sturgeon moon.” It’s also known as the green corn moon, the grain moon, and the red moon because of the reddish hue it takes on in the summer haze.

  • September: Full Corn Moon

The full corn moon in September is so named because this is when crops are harvested at the end of the summer season. At this time of year, the Moon shines brightly and rises early, allowing farmers to continue harvesting into the night. This moon is also known as the barley moon, and it is frequently the closest full moon to the autumnal equinox, earning it the moniker “harvest moon.”

  • October: Hunter’s Moon

The hunter’s moon follows the harvest moon as the preferred month for hunting summer-fattened deer and foxes unable to hide in bare fields. The hunter’s moon, like the harvest moon, is particularly bright and long in the sky, allowing hunters to stalk prey at night. Other names for the moon include the traveling moon and the dying grass moon.

  • November: Beaver Moon

The origin of the name “beaver moon” in November is disputed. Some attribute the name to Native Americans setting beaver traps during this month, while others attribute it to the heavy activity of beavers building winter dams. The frost moon is another name for it.

  • December: Cold Moon

The arrival of winter earned the full moon in December the moniker “cold moon.” The oak moon and the long night moon are two other names for this moon.

What is Blue Moon?

The Moon completes 12 full cycles of its phases in approximately 354 days – 11 days less than a calendar year. The difference adds up to an extra, 13th full moon occurring during the year every two and a half years or so, and this relatively rare occurrence is sometimes referred to as a blue moon. However, the precise origins of the term are unknown: it was originally applied to the third full moon of a season with four full moons, and today the term is also applied to a second full moon occurring within a single calendar month. Learn more about blue moons by clicking here.

What is Harvest Moon?

The harvest moon is one of the most well-known Moon names, referring to the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox. The Harvest Moon’s light allows farmers to work late into the night, allowing them to bring in crops from the fields. This is usually in September.