Tonight’s Full Moon is known as the Wolf Moon, as every January Full Moon is called. The first Full Moon of the year is called as such because wolves tend to howl more in the winter, and with it being peak mid-winter for the northern hemisphere, experts aptly gave it its name. NASA said: “The Algonquin tribes of what is now the northern and eastern United States named the full Moon in January or the first full Moon of winter the Wolf Moon, from the packs of wolves that howled hungrily outside the villages amid the cold and deep snows of winter.”
Not only is tonight the first Full Moon of the decade, but the January 10 phenomenon will be even more spectacular as it will bring with it a penumbral eclipse.
A penumbral eclipse is the result of the moon travelling through the Earth’s outer shadow, which casts darkness on the lunar satellite when the Earth and the moon align almost perfectly with the sun.
EarthSky.org said: “A penumbral eclipse is very subtle. At no time does a dark bite appear to be taken out of the moon.
“Instead, at mid-eclipse, observant people will notice a shading on the moon’s face. They might say the moon looks strange.”
The Wolf Moon Eclipse will be visible from Europe, Africa, Asia and parts of Australia.
Weather permitting, observers in these areas will witness a surreal Full Moon on Friday, January 10.
The penumbral lunar eclipse begins at 5.07pm GMT in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.
Western Europe is best-placed for those wanting to watch the Wolf Moon rise in the east followed quickly by the beginning of the penumbral lunar eclipse.
The maximum eclipse of the Moon will occur at 7.10pm GMT.
As is typical of a January in the UK, much of the skies will be filled with clouds, but as the moon is so notable, it will still be easy to spot.
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Wolf Moon 2020 meaning: NASA welcomes the January Full Moon eclipse
Eclipse 2020: What causes a Lunar Eclipse? What happens at eclipse?
What are the full moons of 2020?
Here are all of the 13 named Full Moons you should look out for this year:
January 10 – Full Woolf Moon
February 9 – Full Snow Moon
March 9 – Full Worm Moon
April 8 – Full Pink Moon
May 7 – Full Flower Moon
June 5 – Full Strawberry Moon
July 5 – Full Buck Moon
August 3 – Full Sturgeon Moon
September 2 – Full Corn Moon
October 1 – Full Hunter’s Moon
October 31 – Blue Moon
November 30 – Full Beaver’s Moon
December 30 – Full Cold Moon
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