DR. SKY BLOG

How the full moons got their names and a very special event set for May

May 5, 2021, 2:00 PM
(AP Photo/Michael Euler)...
(AP Photo/Michael Euler)
(AP Photo/Michael Euler)

The beauty of another full moon is just around the corner!

The next full moon will occur May 26 at 4:14 a.m. Arizona time, as we have the closest super moon of 2021, along with a short, total eclipse of the moon.

This full moon is known by many as the full flower moon, a reflection on the many flowers which are in full bloom around the nation.

There is a very interesting story behind the names of the full moons in our calendar.

Many of the Native American cultures in the northern and eastern United States kept track of the growing seasons by giving specific names to the full moon of each month.

The lunar synodic month is about 29.5 days in length, on average, so the actual dates of a full moon wander during each calendar month.

Here is a listing of the dates of the full moon in 2021, along with the names of those moons and why they are called that.

January

The full wolf moon rose Jan. 28. It earned that name because, in the cold of winter, wolf packs seeking food would howl outside Native American villages.

February

The full snow moon rose on Feb. 27. The heaviest of snows fell in February and hunting was difficult. Many Native American tribes called this the full hunger moon.

March

The full worm moon rose in the night sky March 28.

The moon was named after the insect because the ground had thawed enough for worms to appear in the soil, inviting a return to the growing season for many tribes.

April

The full pink moon made its 2021 appearance on April 7.

Many flowers would bloom in April, along with the grass pink orchid.

May

The full flower moon will rise on May 25, the evening before the great total lunar eclipse.

It’s called the flower moon because flowers dot the landscape in most regions of the United States.

June

The full strawberry moon is expected to rise June 24.

Strawberry season is strong in June and this full moon will be a great sight to see in the warm Arizona night sky.

July

The full thunder moon will appear in the night sky July 23.

Thunderstorms are frequent in many places in the United States. This moon was also known by many tribes as the full buck moon because it is a time when antlers push out of buck deer.

August

Look for the full sturgeon moon Aug. 22nd.

Many tribes caught this large lake fish in abundance during August.

September

The full corn moon will rise Sept. 20. This is the harvest moon of 2021!

Corn was in full bloom for many Native American tribes.

October

The full hunters moon will rise the evening of Oct. 20.

Oct. 16 is International Observe the Moon Night.

November

The full beaver moon, which will appear Nov. 19, is named so because it was when many tribes set beaver traps to ensure a good supply of furs for the winter months.

A partial lunar eclipse will take place at 2 a.m. Arizona time.

December

The full cold moon, the final full moon of the year, will rise Dec. 18.

To print your own monthly star chart, click here.

To view satellites/dates/times of passage, click here.

Listen to the Dr. Sky Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday at 3 a.m.

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How the full moons got their names and a very special event set for May