The first full moon of 2019 has a few names, and it’s not because somebody in charge of that couldn’t make up their mind. Specific to this month, the January lunar event has a few extra titles tacked on to its original full moon name. So, what is the January 2019 full moon called? Don’t be alarmed if you hear a few howls at the full moon this month, as Jan. 2019’s full moon is called the super wolf blood moon.
The full wolf moon will illuminate the sky on Jan. 20-21, 2019. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, "In Native American and early Colonial times, the full moon for January was called the full wolf moon. It appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages." While we think of wolves howling at the moon as a natural spectacle, in the midst of winter, it’ could be more of a wail of hunger.
Don’t let that bum you out! According to Time and Date, there’s another reason Jan.’s full moon is named after the majestic wolf. Time and Date writes, "While an average howl from a single wolf lasts from three to seven seconds, a chorus by a pack can last from 30 to 120 seconds and longer during the breeding season in February." The first few months of a year could be associated with a wolf’s howl because of the breeding season ahead.
But Jan. 2019’s full moon doesn’t only go by the full wolf moon. Alternative titles are also "ice moon" and the "old moon" — but wolf moon is the most common name used. And I don’t know about you, but I feel like super wolf blood moon sounds better than super old blood moon?
The year’s first full moon will be a show stopping opening number for the year of full moons to come. The super blood wolf moon gets its intense name courtesy of the moon’s color. When you glance into the sky on Jan. 20 to Jan. 21 between 11:41 p.m. and 12:43 a.m., according to Time and Date, the moon will be a reddish shade. This is because the full wolf moon will also be a total lunar eclipse.
Space.com explains the hypnotic color change, writing, "as the moon enters Earth’s shadow, all of the moon (or a section of it in the case of a partial eclipse) will turn a rusty color. Sunlight scatters to produce the red colors of sunset and sunrise when it enters Earth’s atmosphere at a particular angle." The total lunar eclipse will be visible to North and South America, Europe and Africa.
Go ahead and join the wolves in a collective howl at the moon. At the very least, the full wolf moon’s red spotlight might tempt you to dance in it. I know you just stayed up to midnight for New Year’s Eve, but the spectacle of this moon is worth the late night, especially if you can maybe hear the howl of a wolf in the distance. Whether you decide to howl, dance, or journal, the super wolf blood moon isn’t to be missed.
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