Do you love the full moon? One of the most dramatic and underrated sights in nature, the full moon rising in the east each month is always worth being outside. Rising opposite sunset, high in the sky around midnight and setting opposite sunrise, 2023 has a bonus for moon-watchers because there are not 12, but 13 full moons to see.
Add in a few lunar eclipses and four so-called “supermoons” and it promises to be another great year for moon sighting. Here are all the dates of the 13 full moons in 2023, including the specifics for each:
1. The ‘Wolf Moon’ hangs high in the sky
When: 23:08 UTC, Friday 6 January 2023
The first full moon of the northern hemisphere winter, the ‘Wolf Moon’ may have a terrible name, but because it’s closest to the December solstice – when the sun is at its lowest point – it’s the highest full moon of the year in the north hemisphere. Since the “Wolf Moon” will take a higher, more northerly path in the night sky because it is opposite a low sun, it will be above the horizon longer than other times of the year and will pass as close to the zenith (the point in the sky directly above) as ever happens. It will be best seen at moonrise on Saturday, January 7, 2023.
2. ‘Snow Moon’
When: 18:29 UTC, Sunday 5 February 2023
The second full moon of the Northern Hemisphere winter, the aptly named ‘Snow Moon’ will be best visible during moonrise on the evening of Sunday, February 5.
When: 12:40 UTC, Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Moonrise on the evening of Tuesday March 7, 2023 is when you should get out and see the third and final full moon of the Northern Hemisphere winter.
4. “Pink Moon”
When: 12:40 UTC, Thursday 6 April 2023
The first full moon of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, named after the flowering of phlox wildflowers, will appear on the horizon just after sunset on Thursday, April 6.
5. “Flower Moon Eclipse”
When: 17:34 UTC, Friday 5 May 2023
The second full moon of spring in the Northern Hemisphere will be eclipsed by Earth. A faint penumbral lunar eclipse will see the full moon drift into Earth’s hazy outer shadow, though only for those in Asia and Australia. For everyone else, the best time to see it will be at moonrise on Friday, May 5, 2023.
6. ‘Strawberry Moon’ is low-hanging fruit
When: 03:42 UTC, Saturday 3 June 2023
The third and final full moon of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, the ‘Strawberry Moon’ will appear on the eastern horizon dressed in orange hues at its brightest on the evening of Saturday 3 June 2023. For the Northern Hemisphere this will be the lowest-hanging full moon of the year just and only because it is opposite the highest sun.
7. “Buck Supermoon”
When: 1:39 UTC, Monday, July 3, 2023
The first full moon of the Northern Hemisphere summer, the ‘Buck Moon’ will also be the first of four supermoons in 2023, although the farthest from Earth at 361,934km. Best viewed at moonrise on Sunday, July 2, 2023, just before it becomes 100% full.
8. “The sturgeon super moon
When: 1:39 UTC on Tuesday, August 1, 2023
The second full moon of the Northern Hemisphere summer, the “Sturgeon Moon” is a supermoon, orbiting full moon while 357,530 km from Earth. This is only slightly further than next month’s closest full moon, so the ‘Sturgeon Moon’ will be very big and very bright. It will best show the moonrise on two consecutive nights, Monday July 31st and Tuesday August 1st.
9. “Blue Supermoon” – the biggest and brightest of the year
When: 01:35 UTC on Wednesday 30 August 2023
The third and last full moon of summer in the northern hemisphere. It’s called a “Blue Moon” because it’s the second full moon in a calendar month, which is bound to happen every few years because the Moon takes 29 days to orbit the Earth. It’s also the closest full moon to Earth—so the best “supermoon” of the year. It will be full while 357,344 kilometers from Earth and will be the biggest, brightest full moon of the year. It will best show the moonrise on two consecutive nights, Wednesday August 30 and Thursday August 31.
10. “Harvest Super moon‘
When: 09:57 UTC on Friday 29 September 2023
The first full moon in the Northern Hemisphere will occur just six days after the autumnal equinox on September 23rd. Turning full while 361,552 kilometers from Earth, this full moon is also technically a “supermoon”—the last such Moon of 2023. It will be best viewed at moonrise in the east on Friday, September 29.
11. ‘Hunter’s Moon Eclipse’ near Carnival
When: 20:24 UTC on Saturday 28 October 2023
The second full moon of the fall in the northern hemisphere will also be eclipsed by Earth. It will be a partial lunar eclipse, with a slip of the moon slipping into Earth’s central shadow. It could look very strange to those who can see it—this time in Europe, Africa, and Asia. For everyone else, the best time to see it will be at moonrise on Saturday, October 28.
12. ‘Beaver Moon’
When: 09:16 UTC on Monday 27 November 2023
The third and final full moon of the fall in the Northern Hemisphere, the “Beaver Moon” — also called the “Mourning Moon” and “Cold Moon” — will be best seen at moonrise on Monday, November 27.
13. “Christmas Cold Moon”
When: 00:33 UTC on Tuesday 26 December 2023
The first full moon of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the aptly named ‘Cold Moon’ will occur on Bank Holiday and just five days after the winter solstice. Also called the “Long Nights Moon” in North America and, as it occurs just after Christmas Day, the “Moon After Yule” in Europe, it will be best viewed during moonrise on the evening of Tuesday, December 26.
I wish you clear skies and open eyes.