The Full Moon for January 2019 reaches its peak on the 21st. Traditionally, this Moon was called the Full Wolf Moon. This year, we’ll also be treated to a total lunar eclipse and a Supermoon! Read about how this Moon got its name—plus, see more Moon facts and folklore.
THE “SUPER BLOOD WOLF MOON” ECLIPSE
This year, thanks to the Moon being both a Supermoon and part of a total lunar eclipse, January’s Full Wolf Moon is being called the “Super Blood Wolf Moon.” How’s that for a name?
Total Lunar Eclipse (“Blood Moon”)
Just a few hours before the peak of the full Moon, a total lunar eclipse will be visible from all of North, Central, and South America.
The partial eclipse begins at approximately 10:33 P.M.EST (7:33 P.M.PST) on January 20.
The total eclipse begins about an hour later, at 11:41 P.M.EST (8:41 P.M.PST), and will last for approximately one hour. This is the time to look skyward!*
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes into the shadow of the Earth, which causes the usually bright full Moon to turn a dark, ominous, coppery-red (giving the eclipsed Moon the nickname ”Blood Moon”).
In addition to a total lunar eclipse, we’ll also be treated to a Supermoon.A Supermoon occurs when the Moon is both full AND reaches the point in its orbit where it’s closest to Earth. A Supermoon is ever-so-slightly larger and brighter than a typical full Moon, though the difference is negligible when viewed with the naked eye.
Often, the September full Moon is called the Harvest Moon instead of the Full Corn Moon. Unlike other full Moon names, which are specific to their respective months, the Harvest Moon is tied to an astronomical event: the autumnal equinox. The full Moon that falls nearest to the equinox (September 22) takes on the name “Harvest Moon,” rather than its traditional name. This means that a Harvest Moon may occur in either September or October.
The Harvest Moon provides the most light at the time when it’s needed most—to complete the harvest!
Other traditional September full Moon names include:
“Moon When the Plums Are Scarlet” by the Lakota Sioux Native Americans.
“Moon When the Deer Paw the Earth” by the Omaha Native Americans.
“Moon When the Calves Grow Hair” by the Sioux Native Americans
October’s Moon rises just after sunset and sets around sunrise, so this is the only night in the month when the Moon is in the sky all night long.
Some Native American tribes referred to October’s Moon as the Full Hunter’s Moon, as it was the time to go hunting in preparation for winter. This full Moon is also called the “Travel Moon” and the “Dying Grass Moon.” Read more about Full Moon names and meaning.