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February 17, 2011

Tonight's full moon is the Hunger Moon


LeoThe moon rises over Baltimore tonight at 5:19 p.m., and is officially full at 3:36 a.m. Friday. The second full moon since the winter solstice is the Wolf Moon or Hunger Moon, so-named for reasons chillingly obvious to our ancestors. If the clouds part, look for a bright star to the left of the moon, high in the southeast after 9 p.m. It’s Regulus, at the front foot of the lion in Leo, killed and placed in the sky by Hercules. Regulus is 85 light years away.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:00 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: From the Sun's print edition, Sky Notes


Always enjoy the moon and astromical lore. Long before high tech and still great...

I have a question. In the pre-dawn hours (when I am walking my dog), I notice a very bright "star" in the southeast sky. Can you tell me what that is?

Judy M. from Catonsville

FR: Sure. That's the planet Venus. Enjoy it now, because it will slip a little lower each morning into the glare of dawn, and we won't see it again until fall, when it becomes the "evening star," in the west after sunset.

Never heard of Regulus being the front foot of Leo...heart of the lion is better. Wikipedia has the full etymology.

FR: I agree. Depends on which image you look at, I guess. Some have the lion facing the other way, with the curl of stars representing the tail, rather than the head.

The Farmer's Almanac says it is the "snow moon". ""

FR: That's another name for this full moon. There are probably more. It's a pretty loose system, drawing from many cultures.

Hunger moon, eh? Come to think of it, I am feeling a bit peckish....

The moon appears to be a full moon tonight which isn't what my issue is I would like to know what that giant ring surrounding it is. Its a huge very visual circle. Surrounding the moon tonight

FR: The halo is caused by ice crystals. Lots of moisture moving in with the warmer ice mass.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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