The full moon It is a phenomenon that usually occurs only once a month, but a year has a total of 365 or 366 days depending on whether it is a leap year or not and about 12.4 lunations, since each phase of the moon lasts approximately 7 days and the moon goes through 4 phases -full moon, new moon, waxing quarter and waning quarter-. To complete this cycle takes approximately 28 days.
Thus, depending on the fit of the lunar cycles in the calendar, there can be years in which there are 12 full moons and years in which there have been or will be 13, as is the case of 2023, which will have two full moons in August: the 1st and the 31st.
However, in May there will only be one. The phase in which the moon is full is the phase in which the moon can best be observed with the naked eye. And also appears round and shiny the day before and after reaching full phase.
And this month of May the so-called flower moon or blooming moon. The origin of this denomination is due to the popular culture, since the names that the Native American tribes gave to each moon are usually used. Specifically, the one for the month of May served to control the passing of the seasons and the arrival of each moment.
However, the names vary. Thus, others gave different names to this moon, such as the mother moon – considering it a symbol of increased fertility -, the milk moon – as a symbol of the end of late frosts – or the corn sowing moon – for the flowering of plants.
On the other hand, in China the lunar months receive different names and, specifically, the full moon in May is called ‘Huáiyuè’ or month of the acacia. Or, also, the dragon moon.
In the southern hemisphere, on the contrary, May is the beaver moon or frost moon, which is why their seasons are reversed and for them May is the last month of autumn, which precedes winter that begins in June. .
The moon will complete its roundness and will be full on the night of May 5-6. That day there will also be a penumbral eclipsewhat will it be visible in Asia, Oceania, Africa and Europebut it will hardly be visible in Spain, on the Peninsula -except in the northwest- and in the Balearic Islands, because it will coincide with the moonrise.
The beginning of the eclipse will occur at 5:15 p.m. peninsular time and the phenomenon will end at 9:30 p.m.
Also, full moon and eclipse coincide with the apogee of the Eta Aquarids meteor showerwho started his show fast meteors that leave long, bright trails on April 19. Unfortunately, having full moon the event will be lackluster and it will not be able to be clearly observed that day. Fortunately, There will be an opportunity to contemplate the meteor shower until May 28.
How to observe it
The best way to observe a full moon well is avoid tall buildings that they cover it and the Light pollution. Of course, if the sky is cloudy, it will be very difficult to see it.
For those who prefer to observe it in detail, it is advisable to use a filter in the telescope to avoid the glare.