Stargazers all over the world may want to look outside on Friday night, January 10, 2020, to get a glimpse of the Wolf Moon-- the first Full Moon of the year which will look different from those in previous months.
The penumbral lunar eclipse will last for a little over four hours, with the Moon penetrating the Earth's shadow at 17:07 UTC and passing the other side around 21:12 UTC. The instance of the greatest eclipse takes place at 19:10 UTC.
A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth’s outer shadow, penumbra, and misses the darker interior shadow, umbra. As a result, only a portion of the Moon turns dark as opposed to a total lunar eclipse, when the entire Moon becomes dark before turning dark red or rusty orange. This type of eclipse can go unnoticed if you don't look closely.
Telescopes are not needed to witness this event but can be used for a more detailed view.
If the weather permits, observers across much of the world will be able to see the eclipse, including those in Asia, Australia, Africa, and Europe.
For the Americas except for Alaska and eastern Atlantic Canada, the eclipse will occur during the daytime and will be over by the evening, but North America will see something similar during the Thunder Moon Eclipse on July 5, 2020.
Whether eclipsed or not, January's Full Moon has had many nicknames over the years, including the most common one which is the Full Wolf Moon.
According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, "The Full Moon for January was called the Full Wolf Moon because wolves were more often heard at this time. Wolves do tend to howl more often during winter months, and generally howl to define territory, locate pack members, and gather for hunting."
Other nicknames for January’s Full Moon are also the Cold Moon, the Old Moon, and the Great Spirit Moon.
Featured image credit: ktphotography/Pixabay