The Full Wolf Moon & Lunar Eclipse – 21st January 2019
The Wolf Moon howls in at the same time of a Lunar Eclipse. It also is another Blood Moon! The eclipse begins at 2.36am on Monday 21st January, though observers are unlikely to see anything until much later in the morning. The best time is around 5.12am to catch the maximum eclipse, when the moon will be completely submerged within the Earth’s shadow.
The Full Wolf Moon is known by various other names. It can also be called a Old Moon, Ice Moon and Snow Moon. Although the last one is usually attributed to the February full moon. While the Wolf Moon is a Native American name, other sources say that it has Anglo-Saxon origins. In Anglo-Saxon culture, the January Full Moon was also called the Moon after Yule, which is the time of the ancient festival celebrating the Winter Solstice around 22nd December last year.
Why is it a Wolf Moon?
This was attributed to every January moon by Native Americans. The early Native Americans didn’t record time using months of the Julian or Gregorian calendar. Instead the tribes gave each full moon a nickname to keep track of the seasons and lunar months. Most of the names relate to an activity or an event that took place at the time in each location. However, it wasn’t a uniform system and tribes tended to name and count moons differently. The January moon was named Wolf Moon because villagers used to hear packs of wolves howling in hunger around this time of the year.
How to see the Lunar Eclipse
The eclipse will be visible from the UK, weather permitting of course! The last Blood Moon took place in July 2018, though clouds largely obscured it in the UK. You won’t need a telescope to see or photograph the eclipse. It is a setting lunar eclipse, which means that the moon is getting lower during the eclipse, so it will start in the south-west at a reasonably high up angle, but will end up going low in the west by the time the moon is really getting into the deepest part of the eclipse.
Why it is called a Blood Moon
It is known as a Blood Moon because the moon changes temporarily to a red type colour in front of your very eyes. A blood moon is the unscientific name for a total lunar eclipse, which is when Earth passes in between the sun and the moon, casting a shadow over the moon as sunlight is blocked. It is during this process that some sunlight is filtered through the Earth’s atmosphere, reflecting onto the moon to give a red appearance.
Elements for your Wolf Moon
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