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When is the Next Full Moon: Dates to Watch the Sky in 2024

by | Jan 26, 2024

The lunar cycle is a celestial rhythm that guides the ebb and flow of tides and can even influence behaviors in the animal kingdom – including humans. Central to this cycle is the full moon, a phase when the Moon appears fully illuminated as seen from Earth. The fascination with the full moon traverses culture, myth, and science, with many looking to the skies in anticipation of its bright, round spectacle. The year 2024 hosts a series of full moons, each with its distinctive names and cultural significance.

Knowing the specific dates and times is crucial for those keen to observe these lunar events. High-quality telescopes or even binoculars can enhance the viewing experience, enabling a closer look at the lunar surface. The moon’s phases, including the full moon, provide a visual spectacle and offer opportunities for photography, celebration, and reflection.

Full Moon Calander for 2024:

Date (2024) Name Time
January 25 Wolf Moon 12:54 pm EST
February 24 Snow Moon 7:30 am EST
March 25 Worm Moon 3:00 am EST
April 23 Pink Moon 7:48 pm EST
May 23 Flower Moon 9:53 am EST
June 21 Strawberry Moon 9:07 EST
July 21 Buck Moon 6:17 am EST
August 19 Sturgeon Moon 2:25 pm EST
September 17 Corn Moon 10:34 pm EST
October 17 Hunter’s Moon 7:26 am EST
November 15 Beaver Moon 4:28 pm EST
December 15 Cold Moon 4:01 am EST

*Read more below on each of the full moons.

*NOTE: Check – When is the Next New Moon?

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Understanding Moon Phases

The lunar cycle plays a pivotal role in the appearance of the Moon in our night sky. This section breaks down the cyclical phases of the Moon and defines the length of a lunar month.

Phases of the Moon

The Moon exhibits distinct phases throughout its cycle, which is observable from Earth. These phases result from the Moon’s orbit around Earth and the Sun’s position, illuminating different portions of the lunar surface. The cycle begins with the New Moon, when the Moon is positioned between Earth and the Sun, making it invisible to observers on Earth. Following the New Moon, the visible portion begins to grow, or wax, during the Waxing Crescent phase.

As the Moon progresses, it reaches the First Quarter, where half of its surface is illuminated. The Waxing Gibbous phase follows, leading up to the Full Moon, when the entirety of the Moon’s face is visible. After the Full Moon, the Moon enters the waning phases, which include the Waning Gibbous, the Third Quarter (or last quarter), where the Moon is once again half-illuminated, but now the opposite side from the First Quarter, and finally the Waning Crescent. This gradual reduction in the illuminated portion marks the approach toward another New Moon, completing the cycle.

how many moon phases are there

How many moon phases are there:

  1. New Moon — no moon in sight
  2. Waxing Crescent — the first appearance of the moon in the sky after the New Moon, in the form of a narrow crescent
  3. First Quarter Moon — exactly half of the moon is illuminated
  4. Waxing Gibbous — 2/3 of the moon is illuminated
  5. Full Moon — the moon is illuminated completely and appears as a single circle
  6. Waning Gibbous — 2/3 of the moon is illuminated from the opposite side to the previous one
  7. Last Quarter Moon — exactly half of the moon is lit
  8. Waning Crescent — the moon leaving the sky when seen as a narrow crescent

Related: The Spiritual Meaning of Moon Phases

Lunar Month

The duration from one New Moon to the next is known as a lunar or synodic month. This period typically spans about 29.53 days. It constitutes the full series of moon phases as the Moon orbits Earth. The calendar dates change each cycle because this period is slightly longer than the average calendar month. Therefore, the exact dates for each phase, including Full Moons, shift progressively from one year to the next.

Full Moon Calendar for 2024

The Full Moon Calendar for 2024 provides precise dates and names for each full moon occurring throughout the year. It is tailored for those who wish to track and observe lunar phases or understand the cultural significance behind each full moon’s traditional name.

Full Moon Dates in 2024

Below is a list of full moon dates in 2024 with their corresponding names:

  1. January 25: Wolf Moon (12:54 pm EST)
  2. February 24: Snow Moon (7:30 am EST)
  3. March 25: Worm Moon (3:00 am EST)
  4. April 23: Pink Moon (7:48 pm EST)
  5. May 23: Flower Moon (9:53 am EST)
  6. June 21: Strawberry Moon (9:07 EST)
  7. July 21: Buck Moon (6:17 am EST)
  8. August 19: Sturgeon Moon (2:25 pm EST)
  9. September 17: Corn Moon (10:34 pm EST)
  10. October 17: Hunter’s Moon (7:26 am EST)
  11. November 15: Beaver Moon (4:28 pm EST)
  12. December 15: Cold Moon (4:01 am EST)

The year 2024 hosts a variety of full moons, each with its distinct name and particular viewing particulars. These lunar events allow people to witness the moon’s full splendor at specific times throughout the year.

1. Wolf Moon

Wolf Moon

The Wolf Moon is expected to appear on January 25, 2024. It can be best seen after nightfall and marks the year’s first full moon.

Read more: Full Moon in January 2024 – Wolf Moon

2. Snow Moon

Snow Moon

February’s full moon, known as the Snow Moon, is slated for February 24, 2024. Observers will have the chance to see it best after sunset, illuminating the winter sky.

Read more: Full Moon in February 2024 – Snow Moon

3. Worm Moon

Worm Moon

The Worm Moon will occur on March 25, 2024, providing a unique spectacle as the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. This event will be best viewed in the evening hours.

Read more: Full Moon in March 2024 – Worm Moon

4. Pink Moon

Pink Moon

The Pink Moon is due to rise on April 23, 2024. It gets its name from the pink flowers that bloom in spring and will be clearly visible after dusk.

Read more: Full Moon in April 2024 – Pink Moon

5. Flower Moon

Flower Moon

May’s full moon, or the Flower Moon, graces the sky on May 23, 2024. This moon signals the blossoming of flowers and can be seen prominently after the sun goes down.

Read more: Full Moon in May 2024 – Flower Moon

6. Strawberry Moon

Strawberry Moon

The Strawberry Moon on June 21, 2024 at 9:07 EST, harmonizes with the summer solstice, offering a long period of light in which to view it.

Read more: Full Moon in June 2024 – Strawberry Moon

7. Buck Moon

Buck Moon

Named after the new antlers that emerge on deer bucks’ foreheads, the Buck Moon is set to occur on July 21, 2024. This moon will be visible throughout the night.

8. Sturgeon Moon

Sturgeon Moon

Sturgeon Moon, happening on August 19, 2024, is special for being a seasonal blue moon—the third full moon in a season with four full moons. It is expected to appear larger due to its proximity to Earth and will be an impressive sight.

9. Corn Moon

Corn Moon

The Corn Moon on September 17, 2024, appears bigger and coincides with a lunar eclipse, offering a spectacular viewing experience.

10. Hunter’s Moon

Hunter’s Moon

October’s Hunter’s Moon arrives on October 17, 2024. It’s another supermoon, affording a larger-than-usual sight, best appreciated after twilight.

11. Beaver Moon

Beaver Moon

The Beaver Moon is expected to be another supermoon on November 15, 2024. It traditionally marks the time to set beaver traps before the waters freeze over and will be visible all night.

12. Cold Moon

Cold Moon

Finally, the Cold Moon will shine on December 15, 2024, signaling the start of winter’s chill. This full moon can be seen clearly in the early evening and will light up the frosty nighttime landscape.

Blue Moons and Black Moons

2024 will not witness a Blue Moon, which is an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year, be it a season or a month. Additionally, there will be no occurrence of a Black Moon, which is characterized by an absence of a full moon in a calendar month.

Notable Full Moons in 2024

Each full moon of the year carries specific cultural or traditional significance. For example:

  • The Wolf Moon in January symbolizes the time when wolves were heard howling in hunger outside villages.
  • The Pink Moon in April denotes the appearance of moss pink, an early blooming wildflower.
  • The Strawberry Moon in June corresponds with the ripening of strawberries and the time to gather them.
  • In August, the Sturgeon Moon is named after the large fish that were more readily caught at this time in the Great Lakes region.

Remember to witness the beauty of these full moons and reflect on the folklore and stories they carry.

Cultural and Traditional Aspects

The full moon holds a place of significant importance across various cultures, reflected in the diverse names it has been given. Many of these names have originated from indigenous, colonial American, and other traditional contexts, often based on seasonal activities or natural phenomena.

Indigenous Moon Names

Native American tribes traditionally named full moons to mark the changing seasons and keep track of time. For instance, the “Wolf Moon” is when wolves were heard more frequently, while the “Snow Moon” corresponds to heavy snowfall. The names often reflect the tribe’s relationship with nature, with examples such as the “Strawberry Moon” and “Buck Moon” indicating the time for harvesting strawberries and the new antlers of buck deer, respectively.

Colonial American Names

Derived from Native American names, Colonial American settlers adopted similar nomenclature for full moons. The Old Farmer’s Almanac is a key source for such names, including the “Hunter’s Moon” for the time to hunt in preparation for winter. Other names like “Hunger Moon” or “Cold Moon” provide insights into the seasonal hardships faced during the colonial era.

Other Traditional Names

Different cultures worldwide have their own traditional names for the full moon. For example, some European cultures referred to a full moon of a specific time of the year as the “Lenten Moon“, which falls during the Lent, indicating a period of fasting and reflection. In agricultural contexts, terms like “Planting Moon” and “Harvest Moon” suggest the ideal times for sowing and reaping crops.

Astronomical Events and Moon

The lunar landscape offers a spectacle of astronomical events that captivate enthusiasts and casual observers alike. Notably, lunar eclipses present a remarkable celestial phenomenon worth marking on any calendar.

Lunar Eclipses in 2024

Lunar eclipses occur when Earth’s shadow obstructs the sun’s light, which otherwise reflects off the moon. They only happen during a full moon when the sun, Earth, and moon are precisely aligned. In 2024, those interested in astronomy can look forward to experiencing this event. With the right telescope or binoculars, the intricacies of a lunar eclipse can be viewed in greater detail.
There are several types of lunar eclipses, each providing its unique viewing experience:

  1. Penumbral Lunar Eclipse: This occurs when the moon passes through Earth’s penumbral shadow. It is subtle and less noticeable as the moon slightly darkens but doesn’t change color.
  2. Partial Lunar Eclipse: A portion of the moon passes into Earth’s umbral shadow and appears very dark, providing a visual contrast between the shaded section and the area still illuminated by the sun.

Lunar eclipses, both penumbral and partial, are safe to view with the naked eye. Unlike solar eclipses, which require protective eyewear, lunar eclipses don’t present the same level of risk. Observing these celestial events with a calendar to track the moon’s phases can enhance the experience, ensuring you don’t miss these natural occurrences.

Observational Tips and Tools

Understanding the optimal viewing times and having the right equipment can significantly enhance the experience when planning to observe the next full moon.

Best Times to View

  • Moon Phases: Observing the full moon requires knowing when it will be prominently visible in the night sky. The moon appears fullest to the naked eye on the night nearest to the moment of the full moon phase, which can be pinpointed using a calendar of lunar phases.
  • Moonrise and Moonset: For the best viewing experience, one should take note of the moonrise and moonset times in their area. Observing during moonrise or moonset can provide dramatic views as the moon interacts with the horizon.

Equipment for Moon Observation

  • Telescopes: A telescope, such as the Celestron NextStar, can significantly enhance the moon observation experience by bringing details like craters and mountain ranges into clear view. A medium-sized telescope with a sturdy mount and simple navigation is advisable for beginners.
  • Binoculars: For those who prefer something more portable or less expensive, binoculars with a decent magnification (10×50 or higher like Celestron – SkyMaster Giant) can also provide satisfying views of the moon’s surface.
  • Illumination: Regardless of the equipment, considering the moon’s illumination percentage during different phases is crucial as it affects the visibility of the moon’s features. Full moon nights offer the brightest view with 100% illumination, but the lack of shadows can make certain details less discernible.

Impact of Location and Time

When it comes to observing astronomical events like full moons, one’s location and the corresponding time zone are crucial factors that determine the exact moment such events can be viewed. The local time of full moon visibility can change depending on one’s position relative to time zones and geographic coordinates.

when is the next full moon

Time Zone Differences

Each location on Earth is assigned a time zone that reflects the difference in time from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). For instance, California is in the Pacific Time Zone (PT), which is typically UTC-8, but during Daylight Saving Time, it’s UTC-7. Therefore, a full moon occurring at 12:54 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) would be visible at 9:54 a.m. Pacific Time in California.

In the USA, the continental states span multiple time zones. From the Eastern Time zone in states like New York, moving westward through the Central, Mountain, and Pacific time zones, the time of the full moon visibility shifts. Each state, city, and even zip code may experience the full moon at a slightly different local time because of these time zone differences.

For example:

  • A full moon peaking at 12:54 p.m. Eastern Time:
    • Would appear at 11:54 a.m. Central Time
    • 10:54 a.m. Mountain Time
    • 9:54 a.m. Pacific Time in California

NOTE: A time zone converter might help

Stargazers need to convert the announced peak full moon time to their local time to avoid any confusion and ensure they don’t miss this lunar phase’s peak illumination.

Historical and Future Full Moons

This section provides a precise look at past full moons and projects future full moon dates, ensuring readers are informed of the exact times these phenomena occurred and will occur.

Past Full Moons

Full moons have a history of captivating human interest, acting as a marker for various events throughout time. The Full moon calendar 1900-2050 showcases a comprehensive list of past full moons. For example:

  • January 1, 1900: Full moon appeared at precisely 9:40 PM
  • December 2, 1950: Full moon illuminated the sky at 2:30 AM

Future Full Moons

Looking ahead, people can anticipate and plan for future full moons. Astute observers and enthusiasts mark their calendars for these regular celestial events. According to the Full moon Calendar 2024, upcoming full moon dates will include:

  1. January 25: Wolf Moon (The full moon reaches its peak at 12:54 pm EST)
  2. February 24: Snow Moon (The full moon reaches its peak at 7:30 am EST)
  3. March 25: Worm Moon (The full moon reaches its peak at 3:00 am EST)
  4. April 23: Pink Moon (The full moon reaches its peak at 7:48 pm EST)
  5. May 23: Flower Moon (The full moon reaches its peak at 9:53 am EST)
  6. June 21: Strawberry Moon (The full moon reaches its peak at 9:07 EST)
  7. July 21: Buck Moon (The full moon reaches its peak at 6:17 am EST)
  8. August 19: Sturgeon Moon (The full moon reaches its peak at 2:25 pm EST)
  9. September 17: Corn Moon (The full moon reaches its peak at 10:34 pm EST)
  10. October 17: Hunter’s Moon (The full moon reaches its peak at 7:26 am EST)
  11. November 15: Beaver Moon (The full moon reaches its peak at 4:28 pm EST)
  12. December 15: Cold Moon (The full moon reaches its peak at 4:01 am EST)

These future dates are not only of interest to stargazers but also to those who follow lunar calendars for cultural or agricultural reasons.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Moon’s phases are a frequently discussed topic, and many have questions regarding the exact dates of full moons, new moons, and the names associated with various lunar events. Here, you’ll find precise information about lunar phases in 2024 from a trusted source.

1. What is the schedule for all the full moons occurring in 2024?

In 2024, full moons will be visible on the following dates:

  • January 25
  • February 24
  • March 25
  • April 23
  • May 23
  • June 21
  • July 21
  • August 19
  • September 17
  • October 17
  • November 15
  • December 15

One can view the detailed schedule and local viewing times on timeanddate.com.

2. What is the meaning of a ‘Wolf Moon’?

A ‘Wolf Moon’ is the traditional name given to the full moon that occurs in January. This name is believed to have been given by Native American tribes because wolves could be heard howling in hunger around this time of year.

3. How do the phases of the moon cycle, including full moons, work?

The lunar cycle consists of four primary phases: new moon, first quarter, full moon, and last quarter. Each phase takes roughly a week, culminating in a full lunar cycle that lasts about 29.5 days. During a full moon, the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon, with the latter being fully illuminated as seen from Earth.

4. Is there a full moon each month?

Yes, there is typically a full moon each month. The lunar cycle, on average, is about 29.5 days long. As a result, most months have one full moon, and occasionally, there are months with two full moons. When there are two full moons in a calendar month, the second one is often referred to as a “Blue Moon.”

The time between two successive full moons is known as a synodic month, and it represents the time it takes for the Moon to return to the same phase, as observed from Earth. It’s important to note that the exact timing of full moons can vary slightly due to the elliptical shape of the Moon’s orbit and other factors.

 

Writer Emma

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