Valentine’s Day is coming. Love is in the air and the Shamokin night sky. This year the celestial timing is almost right. I say almost because the full moon this month is this weekend, but not on Friday for Valentine’s Day. That would add to the romance, but maybe you can get your Valentine celebration going a little early this year, or at least, give it a headstart.

All full moons have nicknames that are either Native American, colonial American or European in origin. The most commonly known name for a full moon in February is the “snow moon” for pretty obvious reasons. The Wishram Tribe in the Pacific northwest has a name for the February full moon that I think is more appropriate for Valentine’s. They call it the “shoulder-to-shoulder around the fire moon.” I think snuggling around a campfire with a full moon overhead does sound pretty good, as long as there isn’t too much wind chill.

Mike Lynch is an amateur astronomer and professional broadcast meteorologist for WCCO Radio in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

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