The Full “Snow” Moon rises about 10 minutes past sunset near 5:45 this evening, in the east-northeast, and tracks high across the skies all night long tonight. This Full Moon also goes by the name The Hunger Moon, the Trapper’s Moon, and for the Dakota Sioux, the Tree Popping Moon, as extremely cold nights cause moisture in the trees to expand and “pop”.

Brilliant moonlight will hamper stargazers this evening, but the trio of bright stars marking Orion’s Belt should be easy to spot, due south in the evenings near 7:10 PM. The star on the left, Alnitak, is actually a triplet of stars, the two primary stars orbiting each other every 7 years, the larger of the two being 20 times larger, and 250 thousand times brighter than the Sun!

In the early evening, before the Moon rises after 7:30, four brilliant stars form a diamond-shaped figure halfway up in the south-southeast early this evening. At the bottom is Sirius, the very brightest star, while the orange-hued Betelgeuse shines at the top. The bluish-white Rigel sparkles on the right, with Procyon on the left.