WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND – APRIL 27: The full moon sets behind Stonehenge on April 27, 2021 in Amesbury, … [+]
Happy New Year! Or is it? Most of us live by the Gregorian calendar, a solar calendar based on how long it takes for our planet to orbit the Sun—364.3 days. We live by the Sun yet we also live with a quasi-lunar calendar, with our months loosely based on the cycles of the Moon’s phases.
The Moon takes 29.5 days to round our planet, with 12 lunations taking 354 days. So a purely lunar year lasts about 11 days shorter than the solar year. That’s why traditional moonths, in modern times, are various different lengths to make up for the shortfall.
That’s the math, but more importantly is the joy of closely following the Moon’s phases. Follow its phases carefully, observe it regularly and actively think about what it’s doing—even when you’re indoors and not venturing out all day—and you’ll soon develop a sixth sense for exactly what phase the Moon is in and where it is in your sky.
Here’s everything you need to know about our Moon in 2022—from its phases to the dates of full Moons, New Moons and even a couple of rare total lunar eclipses—“Blood Moons!”
Phases of the Moon
The moon is always half-lit by the sun, but from the surface of the Earth, it doesn’t look that way. That’s because the moon is constantly orbiting, getting further from the sun as it waxes to full moon, then closer to it as it wanes to a new moon. Moon-watchers have devised eight distinct phases for our satellite, each of which lasts for about 3.5 days:
- New (rises at sunrise, sets at sunset)
- Waxing Crescent
- First Quarter (rises at noon, sets at midnight)
- Waxing Gibbous
- Full (rises at sunset, sets at sunrise)
- Waning Gibbous
- Third Quarter (rises at midnight, sets at noon)
- Waning Crescent
The phases in bold occur seven days apart, so you can see that it’s actually quite easy to get into a weekly rhythm and accurately predict what phase the Moon is in at any time. It just takes a little practice!
When is the next full Moon? Full Moon dates and names in 2022
Here’s when to see a full Moon in 2022. Although the Moon will appear to be full a few nights before and after these dates, only on these precise dates will it be possible to see a full Moon rise in the east at dusk and set in the west at sunrise the following morning.
- January 17 – the full “Wolf Moon”
- February 16 – the full “Snow Moon”
- March 18 – the full “Worm Moon”
- April 16 – the full “Pink Moon” (also a “Supermoon”)
- May 16 – the full “Super Flower Blood Moon” ( “Supermoon” and a total lunar eclipse)
- June 14 – the full “Super Strawberry Moon” (also a “Supermoon”)
- July 13 – the full “Buck Moon” (also a “Supermoon”)
- August 12 – the full “Sturgeon Moon”
- September 10 – the full “Harvest Moon”
- October 9 – the full “Hunter’s Moon” (also a total lunar eclipse)
- November 8 – the full “Frosty Moon”
- December 8 – the full “Cold Moon”
Is there a Supermoon in 2022?
The biggest full Moon of the year occurs in 2022 coincidentally on the exact date of the summer solstice—June 21, 2022. The resulting “Super Strawberry Moon” is sure to be a big media event, though the fact that it’s the closest full Moon to Earth in 2022 demands an explanation. It’s actually really simple—the Moon orbits Earth on a slightly elliptical or egg-shaped orbit so there’s always going to be one full Moon per year that’s the closest.
However, definitions differ and some think a supermoon is so if it occurs within a specific distance from Earth. So by some calculations there are four supermoons in 2022—in May, June, July and August.
When is the next ‘Blood Moon’ total lunar eclipse in 2022?
When is the next eclipse? Two of the full Moons listed above—May’s “Flower Moon” and November’s Frosty Moon” will also be total lunar eclipses. Such events can only occur when the Earth is precisely between the Sun and the full Moon and our satellite cruises through Earth’s shadow cone in space. Here are the dates:
- May 16, 2022
- November 8, 2022
During both events the Moon will turn a copper-red color for 84 minutes. Both events are observable from North America, but they are the last until 2025—so make sure you put the dates in your calendar.
When is the next New Moon? New Moon dates in 2022
New Moon is when our satellite is between the Earth and the Sun. It’s therefore not visible, though sometimes causes an eclipse of the Sun (which this year occur in May and October). However, the dates of the New Moon are most useful if you’re planning to do anywhere with dark skies and fancy doing some stargazing. Only when the Moon is out of the night sky are they truly dark.
- January 2 (A “Super New Moon”)
- February 1
- March 2
- April 1
- April 30 (A “Black Moon”—the second New Moon in the same month)
- May 30 (also a partial solar eclipse visible from South America and Antarctica)
- June 29 (Technically a “Micro Moon”—though the term is not popularly used)
- July 28
- August 27
- September 25
- October 25 (also a partial solar eclipse visible from all of Europe, northeast Africa, the Middle East and central Asia)
- November 23
- December 23 (A “Super New Moon”)
When to see Mars occulted by the Moon in 2022
Something strange will happen on December 8, 2022 when the red planet Mars—just a few days after being the brightest it ever gets in our night sky—is covered-up by the full “Cold Moon.” The hour-long occultation is only visible from a narrow path across Earth, which includes North America and Europe.
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.
Source by www.forbes.com