Full Moon Calendar 2013

The full moon has been a source of myth, legend, and love stories. With so many parts of our lives tied to the full moon in one way or another, it is only natural to want to know if there is a full moon calendar 2013. Yes, there is and here it is with a few facts about the moon to make it more interesting.

Location of three bodies during penumbral lunar eclipse.

Location of three bodies during penumbral lunar eclipse.


The Facts

There are eight phases of the Moon during a month. The phases, a.k.a. lunar phases, are the new moon, waxing crescent moon, first quarter moon, waxing gibbous moon, full moon, waning gibbous moon, last quarter moon, and the waning crescent moon. The moon cycles through these phases in a predictable amount of time. Each phase occurs exactly 29 days, 12 hours, and 44 minutes after it last occurred. This is called the synodic month.

For an eclipse to occur, the Sun, Moon, and Earth have to be in a perfect, or very near perfect, straight line. This would occur once a month if the Moon was not slightly off center from the Earth. An eclipse is a syzygy, or alignment of a three body system. In this case the three bodies are the Sun, Moon, and Earth. The reason that this does not occur every month is that the orbital plane of the is Moon tilted in respect to the Earth(slightly off center); therefore, the three bodies do not perfectly align. NASA has a formula for predicting the occurrence of eclipses, both solar and lunar, at this link.

The 2013 Full Moon Calendar

The times listed are for when the full moon will begin.

Jan 27 at 4:38 am
Feb 25 at 8:26 pm
Mar 27 at 9:27 am
Apr 25 at 7:57 pm
May 25 at 4:25 am
Jun 23 at 11:32 am
Jul 22 at 6:15 pm
Aug 21 at 1:45 am
Sept 19 at 11:13 am
Oct 18 at 11:38 pm
Nov 17 at 3:16 pm
Dec 17 at 9:28 am

NASA has a great calender of the Full Moon covering the 6,000 year period between 1,999 BCE and 4,000 CE(A.D.).

Lunar Eclipses

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves into the Earth’s umbra(shadow). This means that it is on the backside of the Earth in comparison to the Sun. This only occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are in syzygy and the Earth must be in the middle. Since the Earth has to be in the middle, a lunar eclipse can only occur during the night of a full moon. The length of a lunar eclipse depends on the Moon’s location within its orbit around the Earth. In general, a lunar eclipse will last a few hours and can be viewed from any location on the nightside of the Earth. You do not need special equipment to view a lunar eclipse because a lunar eclipse is dimmer than the light from the full moon. There will be a total of three lunar eclipses in 2013. The first, a partial eclipse, occurred on April 25th . The second was a penumbral eclipse that occurred on May 25th. The last will be a penumbral eclipse on October 18th. A penumbral eclipse occurs when the Moon is within the Earth’s penumbra, which is an area where most of the Sun’s light is blocked, but not all. You can visit this link to see NASA’s eclipse schedule.

There are quite a few terms in this article that you may not be familiar with. Each is defined on NASA’s website and on Wikipedia. Hopefully, you will view both sites in order to have a full understanding of each term.

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