The full Wolf Moon is happening this month, but how did a January moon get such a spooky name?

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Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash
Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash
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The Night Sky

There's something about the night sky that has always fascinated me. I think it's because the night sky is always changing.  It's super cool to see different stars and planets, and different phases of the moon. Every time you look up it's like you see something new.   Each month different full moons have different nicknames, so let's dive into what makes January's moon a little different!

The Full Wolf Moon

January's full moon is nicknamed the full Wolf Moon.  Now when you hear the name Wolf Moon, you may instantly picture werewolves, or think of the sound of wolves howling.  While I don't believe we need to be worried about werewolves, the sound of wolves howling is part of the inspiration for the name Wolf Moon.

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Here is what Almanac has to say about the Wolf Moon and how it got that name:

It’s thought that January’s full Moon came to be known as the Wolf Moon because wolves were more likely to be heard howling at this time. It was traditionally believed that wolves howled due to hunger during winter, but we know today that wolves howl for different reasons. Howling and other wolf vocalizations are used to define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, and coordinate hunting.

 

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When Can You See the Full Wolf Moon?

If you enjoy taking a peek at a full moon, the full Wolf Moon will take place on January 25th.  The moon will peak around 12:54 PM EST.  According to NASA, the moon will appear to be full to the naked eye for about 3 days.

The full Moon after next will be Thursday afternoon, January 25, 2024, at 12:54 PM EST. This will be on Friday morning from Myanmar time eastward to the International Dateline in the mid-Pacific. The Moon will appear full for about 3 days around this time, from around midnight Wednesday morning through about midnight Friday night.

 

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