Mark your calendars: the wolf moon will soon be upon us.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts January’s Wolf Moon – the first full moon of 2021 – will reach peak illumination on Jan. 28. Peak brightness is expected around 2:18 EST, but of course it won’t be visible until near twilight.
The Almanac dubs the new year’s first full moon the wolf moon based on the traditional belief that wolves howled due to hunger in the winter. This is scientifically untrue as howling and other vocalization from wolves exist to define territory, locate pack members and coordinate hunting.
The names of the various moons of the year are typically drawn from Native American, colonial and European sources. Other names for the upcoming wolf moon include the frost exploding moon (Cree), Hard Moon (Dakota) and Freeze Up Moon (Algonquin).
The new moon is set for Jan. 13 at 12:02 a.m. with the first quarter revealed seven days later at 4:03 p.m.