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When is the best time to see the full moon in February? Well, 2018 is a rare year, with two blue moons and an empty month in between. (Star-Ledger file photo)
By Len Melisurgo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
So, when is the best time to go outside to view the full moon in February 2018? Well, here’s some friendly advice: Don’t even try. No full moon will be glowing in the sky this month.
February 2018 happens to be a rare month on the astronomical calendar with no full moon. How rare, you ask? Astronomy experts say this unique lunar phenomenon occurs only four times every century, an average of once every 25 years.
When was the last time this happened?
According to Sky & Telescope magazine, the last time our planet had no full moon in February was in 1999. Prior to that, it happened in 1980.
The next time this rare lunar cycle will occur, after February 2018, is in February 2037.
“When February has no full moon, January and March typically have two full moons each (the second being widely hailed as a blue moon),” astronomy expert Roger W. Sinnott explained in a post on skyandtelescope.com. “Much rarer is a 29-day February (in a leap year) with no full moon.” When Sinnott says “much rarer,” he means it.
Citing the Journal of the British Astronomical Association, he notes the last time a leap-year February had no full moon was way back in 1608, and the next time this will happen will be in 2572.