snow moon
"Snow" moon is a traditional name for the full moon that occurs in the winter month of February in North America. Pictured: The full Snow moon rises above the Hudson River and the town of Irvington in Westchester County, New York as seen from the west side of the Hudson in the town of Orangeburg in Rockland County, New York, Feb. 3, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Full moons occur every 29.5 days and each month’s full moon has a traditional nickname that can be traced back hundreds of years to Native American tribes. The full moon in February, which is typically the month receiving the most amount of snow, has been aptly named the Snow Moon.

This year, the Snow Moon — which has also been called the Hunger Moon by some tribes — is accompanied by a penumbral lunar eclipse, which will cast a shadow over the bright moon’s surface.

The moon will first enter Earth's shadow at 5:32 p.m. EST Friday and grow dimmer for over two hours, following which the eclipse will peak at 7:43 p.m. EST. The brightness the full moon will return to normal in another two hours when the moon exits the penumbral shadow by 9:55 p.m. EST, reported.

While the lunar eclipse will be visible from most countries, those in Australia, New Zealand and East Asian countries, as well as the state of Hawaii, will not be able to see the penumbral shadow. The best place to experience the eclipse, according to Noah Petro, a research scientist for NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at the Goddard Space Flight Center, is “on a cruise ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.”

To make the most of the opportunity, timing is the key. The first and last 40 minutes of the eclipse are not as noticeable, Sky & Telescope senior editor Alan MacRobert said in a statement.

“The outer part of Earth's penumbra is so pale that you won’t notice anything until the moon's edge has slid at least halfway in,” MacRobert said, “so start looking about 90 minutes before mid-eclipse.”

Once parts of the United States recover from the heavy snowfall accompanying the winter storm Niko, the Snow Moon and the lunar eclipse are the perfect opportunity to go outside and observe the moon.