It was a stargazer’s dream last night as a full Wolf Moon lit up skies across the UK in a stunning night-time display.
The January Full Moon, often called the Wolf Moon, was large in the sky from about 7.16pm yesterday evening.
It is so-called after a combination of Native American, Anglo-Saxon, and Germanic ancient month names.
For millennia, people in the Northern Hemisphere tracked the changing seasons by following the lunar month rather than the solar year our modern calendar is based on. The names then became associated with the full moon of the months.
It seems that here’s no overall consensus, but many sources say the full Moon takes its name from howling hungry wolves.
According to timeanddate.com, during the denning season in spring and early summer, wolves only howl to pack mates.
As the late summer moves towards fall, wolves call more and more to neighbours and enemies. While an average howl from a single wolf lasts from 3 to 7 seconds, a chorus by a pack can last from 30 to 120 seconds and longer during the breeding season in February.
So wolves are particularly loud and vocal in the first months of the year, which is probably why people associated the month of January with howling wolves.
If you missed out on the event there are set to be another 11 full moons to cross the skies this year, with the phenomenon happening once every 29.5 days approximately.
The next event, which is known as the Snow Moon , can be seen in our skies on February 27 at 8.17am, according to Royal Museums Greenwich.
A full Moon occurs when the Moon appears as a complete circle in the sky, and our eyes see it as full because the whole of the side of the Moon facing the Earth is lit up by the Sun’s rays.