The full moon in January, called Wolf Moon, will occur on Monday, January 17, at 18:48 EST (11:48 GMT), according to NASA data.
The moonrise in New York is that afternoon at 4:31 p.m., according to time and date. The moon will be in the constellation Virgo and rises about 24 minutes before sunset.
The full moon happens because the moon is exactly on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. The moon looks illuminated because we see sunlight reflected from it, and since the period of the Moon’s rotation is the same as the period of its orbit, we always see the same face of our satellite world.
Related: The best events in the night sky in January 2022 (star observation maps)
The time of the full moon is the same everywhere, since it is determined by the place where the moon is in relation to the Earth, and not by its apparent position in the sky, which differs little depending on the location. Observers in the British Isles and Portugal will see the Moon become full at 23:48 local time, while those in Western continental Europe will see it at 00:48 on 18 January. On the east side of Australia, the Moon is a full 10:48 a.m. on January 18th.
Since the full moon is on the opposite side of the sky as the sun, observers of the northern hemisphere will see it relatively high in the sky – essentially the moon is in a position where the sun would be during the day in the summer months. From New York this means that the Moon reaches a maximum altitude of about 74 degrees; observers just a little further south in Miami will see it reach 87 degrees – almost at the zenith (directly above the head) at 12:46 a.m. Jan. 18. In the southern hemisphere, the opposite is true, because it is summer there. In Melbourne, Australia, the full moon on January 18 at 1:14 local time will reach a maximum altitude of just 26 degrees.
The moon is moving relatively fast towards the background stars, because it is so close (relatively speaking) to the Earth, averaging only 239,000 miles (384,000 kilometers). So roughly every hour the moon seems to move by one of its diameters to the east. One of the effects of this is that the moon takes one day each month, or lunar month, a little longer than 24 hours to make a full circle around the sky. In those days the moon never crosses the local meridian, a line drawn through the zenith from north to south. That day will vary slightly depending on longitude, but it is always within a day or two of a full moon. In New York it is the night of the full moon, while in Melbourne it is January 16th.
Stars and constellations
The sky in the northern hemisphere is full of bright stars – the constellations Orion, Taurus, Gemini and the Great Dog are located in approximately the same part of the sky. Each consists of enough stars of the first and second magnitudes to be visible even from places contaminated with light; the three stars that mark the Orion Belt are obvious even in cities like New York, Paris or Chicago.
In the southern hemisphere, summer stars are high in the early evening; in mid-southern latitudes (such as Santiago, Chile, Melbourne, or Cape Town) the constellations that make up Jason’s legendary ship, the Argo, are high in the southeastern sky. The three constellations are Carina, Keel, Puppis, Deck and Vela, Sail. The brightest star among them is Canopus, which will be located to the right of Sirius while the person is facing approximately to the south. Further east (right) you can see Achernar, the star that marks the end of the Eridanus River, and if you follow the trail of the stars that make up the river’s flow, you’ll end up close to “upside down” Orion.
On a full moon night, Jupiter will be the most visible planet after sunset. In New York, the sun sets at 4:55 p.m. local time and the sky darkens enough to see planets and bright objects around 5:30 p.m .; Jupiter is at that point in the southwest, about 24 degrees high.
Saturn and Mercury were also visible in December, but by January 17, Saturn will be only 7 degrees half an hour high after sunset, while Mercury is only about 5 degrees above. To see any of them, you need a very flat western horizon and very clear weather. By 5:52 p.m. in New York Mercury sets; Saturn follows at 18:08 local time. Jupiter, meanwhile, sets at 7:52 p.m., so it should be visible in mid-northern latitudes by about 7:30 p.m. local time before it is likely to be behind a building or tree.
Meanwhile, Mars rises at 5:13 a.m. Jan. 18 in New York City, and is only visible in the sky before dawn – by 6 a.m. local time it will be about 9 degrees high. As the year progresses, it will be easier to see as the planet slowly moves west.
January’s full moon is often called the wolf month, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which may have originated in Indian tribes and early colonial times when wolves howled outside the village.
According to the Ontario Indigenous Literacy Project, Cree, whose traditional territory stretches from present-day Quebec to Alberta and surrounds Hudson Bay, has been dubbed the January Opawahcikanasis, or “Exploding Moon” – because cracks could be heard in some parts of the year. trees as ice forms and falls.
In the southern hemisphere, December is during the summer, and New Zealand Māori described the lunar months from January to February (counting from one new moon to the next, a full moon would be half a month) as Hui-Tanguru, or “Rūhī’s foot now rests on countries “, according to the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Rūhī refers to a star in the constellation Scorpio, near Antares (called Rehua).
In China, the traditional lunar calendar calls this full-moon lunar the 12th month, Làyuè, or Preserved Moon, named after the practice of storing meat during the winter. Chinese Lunar New Year is in February, so this January marks the end of the year, not the beginning.
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