Streaming platforms will bring us new content in 2021: a Dexter revival on Showtime and a new season of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. But check out what the universe is streaming: An all-new season of…The Moon!
You can binge-watch the Moon by yourself or get together with friends. It’s a great social distancing activity to enjoy in an open field in the country, or on the roof of your apartment building.
Observing the Moon with the naked eye, you may see mostly patches of grey and white. The grey patches are actually ancient, solidified lava flows, while the white represent the Moon’s primordial crust, tinted by a white mineral called anorthite.
Try binoculars or a telescope for more resolution and the opportunity to make out craters and mountain ranges. During the Moon’s crescent phases, pay special attention to the liminal space between dark and light, where the lunar topography may cast long shadows and make features easier to pick out. (NASA recommends binoculars with a magnification of at least 7.) NASA also has a Moon observation journal to track the changing Moon phases throughout the month.
Each month brings its own special Moon nomenclature — from the Wolf Moon to the Pink Moon and the Corn Moon. But while many of these common names are attributed to “Native Americans" in repositories like the Farmer's Almanac, which tracks lunar phases, different American Indigenous tribes have different names for the monthly Full Moons, which may or may not correspond with the names listed here.
Regardless of their origin, lunar lingo seems united by the themes of cultural timekeeping, celebration, changing seasons, and observations of the natural world.
Here are the dates of every Full Moon in 2021.
January 28, 2021: Wolf Moon
Maybe go for a night run or howl in the New Year with the Wolf Moon, which will shine in the sky on January 28 at 2:16 p.m. Eastern. This Moon is also called the Ice Moon, and the Moon after Yule.
February 27, 2021: Snow Moon
Time to strap on snowshoes in the backcountry, the Snow Moon rises on February 27 at 3:17 a.m. Eastern. This month's Full Moon is also called the Storm Moon and the Hunger Moon.
March 28, 2021: Worm Moon
As the Northern hemisphere begins to warm and the soil begins to stir, so rises the Worm Moon on March 28 at 2:48 p.m. Eastern. Also called Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Sap Moon, Sugar Moon, and the Lenten Moon, this is the prime time to start thinking about planting new shoots in the garden.
The Spring Equinox is also on March 20, at 5:37 a.m. Eastern.
April 26, 2021: Pink Moon
The spring Pink Moon, ostensibly named for the pink Phlox flower bloom, rises April 26 at 11:31 p.m. Eastern.
This is also a Supermoon.
A Supermoon occurs when the Moon is full and particularly close to Earth in its elliptical orbit. The Supermoon will be visible over the course of April 26 and April 27, according to NASA.
“At its closest point, it is 226,000 miles from Earth and the [Super] Moon appears about 17 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than the faintest Moon of the year,” according to NASA.
The Pink Moon is also called Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon.
May 26, 2021: Flower Moon
It’s not just Phlox in bloom anymore when the Flower Moon rises on May 26 at 7:14 a.m. Eastern.
This year’s Flower Moon will also feature a Total Lunar eclipse at 7:19 a.m. Eastern. The eclipse will last for 3 hours and 7 minutes total. The fully eclipsed portion should be visible (or invisible, to be precise) for 15 minutes. The eclipse will be visible from east Asia, Australia, the Pacific, and the Americas.
“During a lunar eclipse, Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon, blocking the sunlight falling on the Moon,” according to NASA. “A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon and Sun are on opposite sides of Earth.”
But that’s not all. The eclipsing Flower Moon is also 2021’s second Supermoon.
The Flower Moon is also called Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon.
June 24, 2021: Strawberry Moon
Berries are out! Grab some from your garden or store as the Strawberry Moon rises on June 24 at 2:40 p.m. Eastern. This month's Full Moon is also called Mead Moon and Honey Moon.
EarthSky also reports that this month's is a Supermoon, too.
Also this month, the Summer Solstice is June 20, at 11:32 p.m. Eastern.
July 23, 2021: Buck Moon
Ungulate antlers shed in the winter are growing back fast when the Buck Moon rises on July 23 at 10:37 p.m. Eastern. Look for the deer and elk roaming the forest or plains near you (or eating all of your berry plants if you have a garden).
This month's Moon is called Thunder Moon, Hay Moon, Mead Moon, and the Rose Moon.
August 22, 2021: Sturgeon Moon
Go night fishing as the Sturgeon Moon rises on August 22 at 8:02 p.m. Eastern.
This year, the Sturgeon Moon is also a seasonal Blue Moon.
A Blue Moon is not blue. According to Farmer’s Almanac, it refers to the second of two Full Moons in the same month (as was the case for the Halloween Blue Moon of October 2020). It can also refer to the emergence of four, instead of three Full Moons in a “season,” defined as the period between a Solstice and an Equinox. When this occurs, the third of the four Moons is considered the Blue Moon. And in 2021, that is the Sturgeon Moon.
The Sturgeon Moon is also called the Green Corn Moon.
September 20, 2021: Harvest Moon
Reap what you have sewn as the Harvest Moon rises on September 20 at 7:55 p.m. Eastern. The Harvest Moon is the name given to the Full Moon in either September or October, depending on the timing of the Fall Equinox. Whichever month’s Full Moon is closest to the Equinox wins the title. In 2021, it’s September.
This is also called Corn Moon, Fruit Moon, Barley Moon, and Hungry Ghost Moon.
The Fall Equinox is on September 22, at 3:21 p.m. Eastern.
October 20, 2021: Blood Moon
Consider getting dressed up early this year to celebrate the Blood Moon on October 20 at 10:57 a.m. Eastern.
Also this month, NASA is hosting International Observe the Moon Night on October 16. The yearly event is a chance for lunar watchers across the world to host Moon-watching events and activities, registered through a NASA platform. According to NASA, in 2020 “there were 3,775 registered events and observers across 104 countries and all seven continents.”
The Blood Moon is also called the Travel Moon, Dying Grass Moon, Hunter’s Moon, Harvest Moon, and the Sanguine Moon.
November, 19, 2021: Frost Moon
Winter is coming when the Frost Moon rises on November 19 at 3:58 a.m. Eastern.
This year, the Frost Moon features a partial Lunar Eclipse peaking at 4:04 a.m. Eastern. The entire eclipse event will last for 3 hours and 28 minutes. It will be visible from the Americas, northern Europe, east Asia, Australia, and the Pacific
The Frost Moon is also called the Frosty Moon, the Beaver Moon, and the Snow Moon.
December 18, 2021: Cold Moon
There’s a bite in the air, so bundle up, pour your beverage of choice in a big mug, and tune into the 2021 season finale of The Moon, airing December 18 at 23:36 Eastern.
The final Full Moon of the year is also called Cold Moon, Oak Moon, Moon before Yule, and Long Night Moon.
The Winter Solstice is December 21 at 10:59 a.m. Eastern.