A Month Without a Full Moon

image of a full moon

By Dr. Lisa Will, Resident Astronomer at the Fleet Science Center. 

Do you feel like something has been missing this month? If you’ve been watching the sky closely, you may have noticed you haven’t seen a full moon in February—and you won’t! Why is that?

Remember last month’s “super blood blue” lunar eclipse? That was a lunar eclipse (“blood”), when the Moon was close to perigee (“super”) and during the second full moon of the month (“blue”).  The blue moon on January 31, combined with the 29.5 day-long cycle of lunar phases means that February 2018 will not have a full moon!

How often does a month without a full moon occur? Well, a month without a full moon can only happen in the month of February, and it takes almost 20 years for the cycle of lunar phases to work out just right. The next month without a full moon will be February 2037.

Wishing you clear skies!