Prepare for a celestial spectacle as the first full moon of 2024, affectionately known as the ‘Wolf Moon,’ is poised to adorn the night sky on January 25. Sky gazers around the world can anticipate a mesmerizing view on this chilly night, promising a unique experience post-sunset.
It’s essential to consider that the timing of the moonrise varies across different regions. For instance, in New York City, spectators can expect the moon to rise at 4:56 p.m., creating a captivating backdrop against the cityscape.
Full moons occur when the Earth aligns itself between the Sun and the Moon, casting its entire Earth-facing side in sunlight, as confirmed by the U.S. Naval Observatory. According to astronomical data, the moon will be visible during the day, making its ascent approximately 8 minutes before the sunset on January 25.
As darkness falls, sky gazers might also have the opportunity to witness both Saturn and Jupiter adorning the night sky.
The intriguing name ‘Wolf Moon’ finds its roots in the howling packs of wolves often heard outside villages amidst the cold and deep snows of winter, particularly in January, according to NASA. However, it’s important to note that the association of wolves howling at the moon may be more of a myth than a scientific reality, as suggested by the Smithsonian.
The ‘Wolf Moon’ is not a universal moniker, as it goes by various names in different regions, each holding cultural significance. In Europe, it is referred to as the “Ice Moon” and the “Old Moon.” Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, the first full moon in January is celebrated as Duruthu Poya, marking the initial visit of Buddha to the country.
Looking ahead, the next full moon, known as the “Snow Moon,” is poised to grace the night sky on February 24, promising another breathtaking celestial display for avid sky watchers.