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The sky will be extra bright this weekend

Warm nights will make for great evenings to check out the brilliant sky as the full "Snow Moon" rises above.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The moon will be, or near, 100 percent illuminated this weekend, beginning Friday evening. This means the sky will be beaming with bright light. 

With a warm, summer-like, weekend, it will be a great time to be outside enjoying the sky above.

While it will be quite warm around Tampa Bay, the name of the full moon Friday night sounds anything but warm. The February full moon is known as the full “Snow Moon”.

Of course, it’s not named to reflect typical February weather in Florida. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, full moon names in our part of the world date back to the Native Americans who lived in the northern and eastern U.S.

Each full moon has its own name.

"The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon," the almanac said. "Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred."

For the best view of this moon, look for it Friday evening. It will rise above the horizon in the east at 6 p.m. and reach its highest point in the sky around midnight. 

If you’re an early riser, it will set in the western sky at 7:24 a.m. Saturday.

The moon will reach official 100 percent illumination at 3:17 a.m. on Saturday morning.

The moon will appear nearly full over the next several nights. Thursday evening, the moon will rise at 4:55 p.m. and will be 96.6 percent illuminated.

Even on Sunday night, the moon will still be 98.6 percent illuminated, rising in the east at 8:09 p.m.

Enjoy the view with someone this weekend. If you do, share a fun moon fact. 

FUN FACT: The moon is drifting farther and farther from Earth. It’s been happening for 4.5 billion years. The moon is moving away from Earth at a rate of 1.5 inches per year, but the speed of the movement has varied over time.

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