Full moons have names, which confuse people. What are these names and why do they have them?
Since ancient times, and likely dating back to prehistory, people have kept track of the months and seasons by looking at the Moon. The Moon is Earth’s only natural satellite, and it is perhaps the most compelling feature of the night sky.
To help keep track of the months and seasons, people give full moons names. In the United States, Native Americans names tend to be used because early colonial Americans adopted them. Those names were entered into the Farmer’s Almanac and had been kept to this day.
January: Wolf Moon
February: Snow Moon
March: Worm Moon
April: Pink Moon
May: Flower Moon
June: Strawberry Moon
July: Thunder Moon
August: Sturgeon Moon
September: Harvest Moon
October: Hunter’s Moon
November: Frost Moon
December: Cold Moon
Some people believe a “pink” or “blue” moon will have a different color, but this is not why they are named such. Instead, moons are named by other phenomena, such as flower blooms, around a particular season.
The moon usually appears silvery in color, but it can appear yellow, orange, or even red. These colors depend on what is in the atmosphere, and how close the moon is to the horizon. The lower to the horizon and the more dust in the atmosphere, the redder it becomes. This is due to the white light being filtered out.
When the moon is full, it can often shine bright enough to see and work by.
Moons don’t change color, but we measure changes by them. Notably, the changes of the season. Therefore, we give them names associated with the time of the year in which we see them.