The second full moon of 2021 rose over clear UK skies on Friday, offering a great opportunity for sky-gazers in Burnham-On-Sea to witness the final full moon of the winter.
February’s full moon is traditionally known as the Snow Moon in the northern hemisphere and typically symbolises the beginning of spring.
The moon reaches its peak at 8.17am on Saturday but appeares full in the sky on both Friday and Saturday night this weekend.
Clear skies over the Burnham-On-Sea area on Friday night provided ideal conditions for viewing the celestial spectacle. More forecast clear skies tonight (Saturday) should allow it to be seen again.
Viewing tips to see the night’s sky at its best include steering clear of areas with light pollution and spending at least 45 minutes away from artificial light sources to allow eyes to adjust to the darkness.
The full moon also appears larger when it is close to the horizon due to a mysterious optical effect known as the moon illusion.
Nasa explained this phenomenon in a recent blog post, stating: “In general, the proposed explanations have to do with a couple of key elements of how we visually perceive the world: how our brains perceive the size of objects that are nearer or farther away, and how far away we expect objects to be when they’re close to the horizon.”
“There’s also some thinking that objects in the foreground of your lunar view play a role. But this isn’t a perfect explanation, either. Nasa astronauts in orbit also see the moon illusion, and they have no foreground objects to act as distance clues. So, there’s likely more going on.”