Be sure to look to the night sky on Thursday, January 25th to catch the year’s very first full moon! Also known as the Wolf Moon, the January lunar event will reach peak illumination at 12:54 p.m. EST.
Of course, it won’t be dark enough outside to see it in all its glory at that time. However, the moon will appear as full and as bright come nightfall. Not to mention, it will appear full the day prior and following.
January tends to be a month most common to hear wolves howling—hence why this month’s moon has been dubbed the Wolf Moon. This common vocalization during wintertime helps the animals find pack members, strengthen social bonds, define territory, and coordinate hunting. Other traditional names for the January moon include: Cold Moon, Frost Exploding Moon, Freeze Up Moon, and Severe Moon
A full moon occurs when the sun illuminates the moon, making it appear full from the perspective on Earth. This occurs about once a month. Interestingly enough, often times the moon isn’t actually full. It’s really only 100% full during a lunar eclipse. Considering the moon’s rotation and the fact that we only ever see the same side of the moon, part of it tends to be in shadow, explains Space.com.
The next full moon of the year after Thursday night won’t occur until February 24th. That is known as the Snow Moon. Plus, keep April on your radar for more celestial events as a super rare total solar eclipse is headed our way.