The Full moon will appear full from Wednesday through Saturday.
January’s full moon, popularly called the wolf moon, is almost upon us. Here is”howl” to see it shine brightly this Thursday (Jan. 28). The moon will be at its fullest for only an instant — on Thursday, which happens at 2:16 p.m. EST (19:16 UTC).
The full moon will be so bright, you can simply gaze upward at the (hopefully clear) night sky to see it. In case you have access to binoculars or a telescope, you could be able to see some lunar features, such as the Sea of Tranquility or even the glowing Copernicus Crater, NASA reported.
If it is a cloudy night, you can always take an electronic tour of this moon with Moon Trek, managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. With Moon Trek, it’s possible to look at the historic landing sites from the Apollo missions, in addition to some other moonscapes. To find a live feed of January’s full wolf moon rising over Rome, the Virtual Telescope Project includes a free webcast, which begins at 10:45 a.m. EST (15:45 UTC) on Thursday and is conducted by Italian astrophysicist Gianluca Masi.
So, just how did January’s full moon come to be called the wolf moon? Look no further than the now-defunct Maine Farmer’s Almanac, which gave every month’s full moon a title gleaned from the Native Americans, probably from the Algonquin language, according to NASA. However, the Almanac took many liberties in its own naming scheme, and it’s not clear where the name”wolf moon” originated.
“By what I have learned about traditional names given to complete moons prior to the introduction of modern timekeeping, neighborhood leaders would usually decide on the title of the moon based on conditions at the time,” Gordon Johnston, a program executive at NASA Headquarters, wrote in a post. “These cultures did not normally need calendars that define precise dates much in advance. Complete moon names were used to describe and remember what happened in the past and to remind of that which was supposed to come in the not too distant future.”
Additionally,”there are many different Native American names for the full moons,” Johnston noted.
In cases like this, the wolf moon’s name may have been a classic European name for the midwinter moon,” Johnston wrote. And the Sioux name for January’s moon translates to”wolves run together moon,” according to Indian Country Today, a news service which covers the Indigenous inhabitants of the Americas.
Wolves don’t always howl at the moon, but rather howl to express usually one of two things — to alert a rival pack that’s trespassing on their land or to guide a lost wolf back to the pack, Live Science previously reported.
But you decide to watch the wolf moon, we hope you do not get lost, although you could howl in your friends or family if you become separated. Or you could simply text them and, while you’re at it, make a date to see the next full moon, also known as the snow moon, that will shine bright on Feb. 27.