Gallery: The Fantastic Full Moon


full moon over trees

(Image credit: Tim McCord)

The moon is considered full at the moment when the sun, Earth and moon line up in as straight a line as possible with one another; however, to the naked eye, the moon appears full the entire night. The above shot of the March 19, 2011, full moon was taken in Entiat, Wash., using a camera-equipped telescope.

Super Moon

super moon over washington

(Image credit: Bill Ingalls | NASA)

The blood-red full moon was seen rising near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on March 19, 2011. The huge moon is known as a "super moon" or a super perigee moon, since that was when it was at its closest to Earth in 2011. The last full moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March 1993.

Blue Moon Standing Alone

blue moon in sky

(Image credit: HarveNYC | flickr)

This photo of a "blue moon" was taken from Boca Raton, Fla., on New Year's Eve 2009. According to the "tropical year" calendar that extends from one winter solstice to the next, a full moon comes around 12 times in one year, with three times for each season. Occasionally, however, there will come a year that has 13 full moons, with one season experiencing four full moons. That's why the expression "once in a blue moon" refers to something that happens very rarely. "Blue moons" aren't really a blue color, but the one in this photo sure appears to be!

Falling Moon

full moon across sky

(Image credit: Shikiko Endo | shikihan | flickr)

No, that's not a shooting star — that's the moon slowly making its way across the sky.  This amazing image was taken off the coast of Chiba, Japan, using a pinhole camera with an exposure time of eight hours. The colorful streaks at the bottom of the photo are fireworks.

Very Large Moon & Very Large Telescope

full moon over observatory

(Image credit: Gordon Gillet | European Southern Observatory)

The dazzling full moon sets behind the Very Large Telescope — yes that's its official name —  in Chile's Atacama Desert. This photo was released June 7, 2010 by the European Southern Observatory.

Under a Russian Moon

full moon in russia

(Image credit: Dmitry Benbau)

This full moon occured on March 19, 2011 and was photographed from Ekaterinburg, Russia.

Aurora Dances Around Moon

Aurora Dances Around Moon

(Image credit: Roman Krochuk | dreamstime)

The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, surround the bright full moon over Fairbanks, Alaska.

Full Moon Over Airport

full moon over airport

(Image credit: Arinahabich08 | dreamstime)

This spectacular shot of a full moon over the Denver International Airport in Colorado was taken on June 15th, 2011.

Total Lunar Eclipse

Total Lunar Eclipse moon

(Image credit: Jimmy Westlake)

A full moon gets an amber tinge during a November 8, 2003 total lunar eclipse. The photo was taken from Yampa, Colo., by astrologist Jimmy Westlake. 

Hunter's Moon

hunter's full moon

(Image credit: Paolo Tanga | Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur)

A full moon rising over the medieval castle of Tourrette-Levens near Nice, France. Taken on April 16, 2009, right before the March equinox, it was the first full moon of spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn's first full moon in the southern hemisphere. This type of moon is also known as the Easter moon, grass moon, egg moon or hunter's moon.

Full Moon's Craters

full moon from space

(Image credit: NASA | JPL)

This incredibly detailed shot of the moon was taken Dec. 7, 1992 by the Galileo spacecraft during its flight. The picture was taken using violet filters and the color is "enhanced" in the sense that the camera is sensitive to near infrared wavelengths of light that are beyond human vision.

Remy Melina was a staff writer for Live Science from 2010 to 2012. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Hofstra University where she graduated with honors.