WTF Fun Fact 13224 – Full Moons in February

It’s possible to have no full moons in February. It doesn’t happen often, but February goes by without a full moon roughly every 19 years.

How can there be no full moons in February?

The lunar cycle starts with a new moon and ends with the next new moon.

The length of a lunar cycle is roughly 29.5 days. In a normal year, February has 28 days. This makes it shorter than the average length of a lunar cycle.

February does not have a full moon in a year when there are two full moons in January. This occurs approximately once every 19 years, as part of the Metonic cycle, which is a pattern of full and new moons repeating approximately every 19 years.

Recent years in which February did not have a full moon include 2018, 1999, 1980, 1961, and 1942.

What’s the significance of a full moon?

The gravitational pull of the moon and the sun causes the tides to rise and fall. The full moon has the strongest tidal effect because it is in direct line with the earth and the sun.

The full moon also provides brighter light at night. This can impact the behavior of nocturnal animals, such as owls and bats. It can also affect the migratory patterns of some species.

A full moon has the strongest effect on tides, and it is responsible for producing spring tides, which are the highest tides of the lunar cycle.

In some cultures, the full moon is used as a reference point for planting, harvesting, and other agricultural activities. And for many cultures and religions, the full moon has spiritual significance and is associated with rituals, ceremonies, and festivals.

In the future, February is expected not to have a full moon in 2037, 2056, 2075, and 2094.

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Source: “Why no full moon in February 2018?” — EarthSky


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