The first Full Moon of 2022, known as the Wolf Moon, will occur on January 17. Here we explain the best time and date to observe it and the connection between the Moon and the wild canine hunters. You’ll also learn its other names and their meanings. Let’s get started!
What is a Wolf Moon?
People from different cultures gave Full Moons names that represented peculiarities of a lunar month in which they occur. Throughout cold January nights, the howling of wolves could be heard around villages in both Europe and America, so the January Full Moon became widely known as the Wolf Moon.
People used to believe that wolves howl because of winter hunger, but today we know that wolves generally use vocalizations to communicate, reinforce social bonds, and coordinate hunting.
January Full Moon Alternative Names
Full Moons are called differently in other cultures. Some people didn’t put wolves at the forefront and highlighted the other peculiarities of the month. Here are some examples:
- Chinese: Holiday Moon
- Celtic: Quiet Moon
- North American: Old Moon
- Cherokee: Cold Moon
- Southern Hemisphere: Hay Moon, Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Mead Moon
When is the Full Moon in January?
The exact time of the Full Wolf Moon is January 17, 2022, 23:48 GMT (6:48 p.m. EST). At this moment, the Moon will reach its peak brightness, shining with a magnitude of -12.35. Our natural satellite is the brightest object in the night sky and very easy to observe even without special equipment. The lunar disk will look full for several days to the naked eye, starting around January 16.
When is the next Full Moon?
The next Full Moon, widely known as the Snow Moon, will occur on February 16, 2022. We’ll provide more details in an article closer to the date.
How many Full Moons are there in 2022?
Speaking of all Full Moons this year, there will be 12 of them, one each month. Some years you can enjoy 13 Full Moons in one calendar year — the last time it happened was in 2020.
One lunar cycle (eight Moon phases) takes 29.5 days, which in total requires 354 days for 12 complete cycles. This is somewhat shorter than one calendar year, which is 365 or 366 days, so roughly every two or three, there is a 13th Full Moon.
Now you know when to see the first Full Moon of 2022 and what it has to do with wolves. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask us on social media.
We wish you clear skies and happy stargazing!