ASK TOM WHY: Is it also true that February can have NO full moons?

Dear Tom,

A recent column explained that February can never have a “blue moon” (two full moons in a month). Is it also true that February can have NO full moons?

— Tim Guimond

 

Dear Tim,

You are absolutely correct, February is the only month of the year that can be pass without having a full moon. Dan Joyce, astronomer at Triton’s College’s Cernan Space Center informs us that a full moon repeats every 29.5306 days and February even in a leap year has just 29. Joyce pointed out that when February does not have a full moon, other months must have more than one. The last time this happened was back in 1999 when both January and March sported two full moons. On average, February has no full moon about four times each century with upcoming occurrences slated in 2018, 2037, 2067 and 2094.

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