Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
Jan Harris
Assistant Editor
9:00 AM 7th January 2020

Will The Wolves Be Howling At The January Full Wolf Moon?

The first full moon of 2020 will rise on the night of Friday 10 January and will be the Wolf Moon.

There will be 13 full moons, including 2 supermoons and a blue moon shining in 2020.

Wolves howl to communicate. During the breeding season in February the wolves are particularly loud which is probably why people associate the month of January with the howling of wolves. Wolves are nocturnal animals and so they probably howl towards the sky and the moon for better acoustics.

Other names for the January full moon are Moon after Yule, Old Moon or Ice Moon.

Along with January’s full moon comes a penumbral lunar eclipse, which occurs when the moon passes through Earth’s faint outer shadow (the penumbra). This means that the full moon will appear marginally darker than usual though because it is so slight it could be difficult to recognise.

Full moons occur every 29.5 days or so as the moon moves to the side of Earth directly opposite the sun, reflecting the sun's rays off its full face and appearing as a brilliant, perfectly circular disk.

Traditional Full Moon Names 2020

January 10 - Wolf Moon
February 9 - Snow Moon
March 9 - Worm Moon / Supermoon
April 7 - Pink Moon / Supermoon
May 7 - Flower Moon
June 5 - Strawberry Moon
July 5 - Buck Moon
August 3 - Sturgeon Moon
September 2 - Corn Moon
October 1 - Harvest Moon
October 31 - Blue Moon
November 30 - Beaver Moon
December 29 - Cold Moon

Some years have an extra full moon which happens approximately every two or three years and this is called a blue moon.

In 2020 there will be two full moons in October, on the 1 October and the second on the 31 October which will be a blue moon.

The next time a blue moon appears during Halloween will be 2039.

There are a total of 12 full moon phases during the annual lunar cycle plus the occasional Blue Moon and each full moon has a unique name tied to the changing seasons, behaviour of the plants, animals, or weather during that month and reflects the landscape around us.

The names given to the full moons during the year are derived from the North American tribes, who centuries ago kept track of the changing seasons by giving the full moons distinctive names depending on the time of year.

These names are now included into our modern calendar. However the full moon names we now use also have Anglo-Saxon and Germanic roots.

The next full moon will rise on the 9 February 2020 and is the Snow Moon.