This image of the full moon was taken by Alamelu Sundaramoorthy from Portland, Ore. on July 3, 2012.
Credit: Alamelu Sundaramoorthy
The moon shows its full face to Earth once a month. Well, sort of. In fact, when things are perfectly aligned and the moon is 100 percent full, there is a lunar eclipse; so, in reality most of the time the moon is never perfectly full. And sometimes — once in a blue moon — it is full twice in a month (or four times in a season, depending on which definition you prefer). (FYI: There is no blue moon in 2016.)
The next full moon will occur on Saturday, May 21, 2016. It is known as the Flower Moon and may look full a day before and after to the casual observer. The best time to observe the moon in May will be Friday the 13th and May 29, when the moon is at its quarter-full phase, making the view through telescopes extremely impressive.