February 22, 2024

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How can I see the Wolf Moon? January’s full moon arrives Thursday

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Here’s your chance to see the full wolf moon.

WASHINGTON — The first full moon of 2024 will shine bright in the sky this week. 

January’s full moon, also known as the wolf moon, will reach its peak at 12:54 p.m. Eastern on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 25, according to NASA. The space agency explains that the moon will appear full in the sky for about 3 days, from early Wednesday through early Friday morning. 

What is the full moon in January called? What is a wolf moon?

January’s full moon is nicknamed the wolf moon because in some parts of the world wolves are active in January and howl on cold nights, EarthSky explains. Other names for January’s full moon reference the winter cold, such as the ice moon and the cold moon

Where to see the wolf moon

You can look for the full moon in January to rise from the eastern horizon around sunset Thursday and by midnight it will be overhead, the Old Farmer’s Almanac explains

How often does a full moon happen?

The most common answer to this question is 28 days, but that’s not actually correct. A full moon happens roughly every 29.5 days. 

Technically, it takes 27.3 days for the moon to complete an orbit around the earth. But because both are spinning around the sun, the moon has changed position enough that the sun hits it at a different angle on day 27 than day 0. It takes another two days for the sun’s light to hit the moon exactly like it did on day 0.

Usually, this means there’s one full moon every month. But occasionally, the timing can work out so that there’s a full moon at the beginning of the month and one at the end. That second full moon is known as a blue moon. 

Is there a full moon tonight? 

January’s wolf moon will reach its peak brightness on Thursday afternoon, but according to NASA, the moon will appear full through early Friday morning. 

2024-01-25 15:16:46

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