Howl at January's Wolf Moon as the 1st full moon of 2023 rises tonight. The moon will also be at its furthest from the sun during the first full moon of 2023, making it a so-called "micromoon."

The first full moon of the new year, January's Wolf Moon, rises on Friday (Jan. 6). At the same time, the moon will be on the far side of Earth and at its furthest from the sun, making it a "micromoon," the opposite of a supermoon. 

The full moon will rise around dusk and will set around dawn, meaning the Wolf Moon will be visible for most of the night. According to In the Sky (opens in new tab), observers in New York City will see the Wolf Moon rise at 3:21 p.m. EST (2021 GMT) and see it set at 7:26 am EST (1226 GMT).

This makes the Wolf Moon of 2023 a micromoon (in effect the opposite of a "supermoon"), which occur during full moons when the moon is closer to the Earth. This situation arises because the moon's orbit around Earth is a flattened circle, or "elliptical."This means there are times when it is closer to Earth and further times when it is further away.

Though this does make a difference to how large and bright the moon appears, this difference is so small that it is virtually imperceptible to the naked eye; supermoons are only around 14% larger than moons not at perigee.

Old Farmer's Almanac states that the name for January's full moon, the Wolf Moon arises due to the fact it was seen at times of the year when wolves could be howling outside villages as a result of hunger.

The Full Wolf Moon. Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Native American villages. This moon was also known as the Old Moon or the Moon after Yule. In some tribes it was called the Full Snow Moon, but most applied that name to the next moon.

January Moon Names: Man Moon (Taos). Joyful Moon (Hopi). Avunniviayuk (Inuit). Quite Moon (Celtic). Ice Moon (San Juan). Cold Moon (Cherokee). Ice Moon (Neo-Pagan). Flying Ant Moon(Apache). Big Cold Moon (Mohawk). Cooking Moon (Choctaw). Strong Cold Moon (Sioux). Little Winter Moon (Creek). Her Cold Moon (Wishram). Cold Meal Moon (Natchez). Moon After Yule (Cherokee). Wolf Moon (Medieval English). Strong Cold Moon (Cheyenne). Quiet : Dark, Wolf : Full (Janic). Great Spirit Moon (Anishnaabe). Whirling Wind Moon (Passamaquoddy).

Wolf Moon, Old Moon, Winter Moon, Yule Moon (Algonquin).


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