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May 20, 2019

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Full Moon

Closeout EventLast night was May's Full Moon for the United States. With spring in full bloom May's Full Moon is commonly known as the Full Flower or Big Leaf Moon.

As the full moon occurs every 29.5 days, February is the only month that can occur without a full moon. All of the other months are guaranteed to witness at least one full moon.

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Today's Random Fact:

The moon is never really full. The disk of the moon can only appear 100 percent sunlit from Earth when it is diametrically opposite to the sun in the sky. But that, of course, is impossible because at that moment the moon would be positioned in the middle of the Earth's shadow and in total lunar eclipse. In fact, in any month where there is no eclipse, there should be an ever-so-slight sliver of darkness visible somewhere on the lunar limb throughout those hours when the moon is passing through "full" phase; close inspection will usually reveal that moon is not fully illuminated, but is indeed gibbous or slightly out of roundness.

Bonus Fact:

When the full moon coincides with a total lunar eclipse, it appears red. In this phenomenon known as the red moon, the only light seen is refracted through the earth's shadow. This light looks red for the same reason that the sunset looks red, due to rayleigh scattering of the more blue light.

The full moon has been thought to cause insanity and even more famously, lycantrophy. One of the most popular beliefs was that a man or woman could turn into a werewolf if he or she, on a certain Wednesday or Friday, slept outside on a summer night with the full moon shining directly on his or her face.