How, When And Where You Can See The ‘Wolf Moon,’ Our First Full Moon In 2022 At Its Best

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Will you see the “Wolf Moon” rise? The first full Moon of 2022 will be fully illuminated by the Sun this week, rising at dusk in the east and setting at sunrise in the west the following morning.

Here’s everything you need to know about how, when and where to see the “Wolf Moon” this month:

MORE FROM FORBESWhen Is The Next Full Moon? Your Ultimate Guide To 2022’s Full Moons, ‘Super Moons,’ New Moons And ‘Black Moons’

When is the ‘Wolf Moon?’

The full Wolf Moon will be 100% lit by the Sun on Monday, January 17, 2022 while it’s in the constellation of Cancer, the Crab. The magical moment comes at precisely 23:48 UTC—that’s 18:48 EST and 15:48 PST.

However, from a moongazer’s point of view the exact moment of 100% illumination is not terribly important. Much more interesting is exactly when it will rise and set where you are on the planet, something you can find out by using a moonrise and moonset calculator.

By far the best time to look at a full moon is when it rises and sets. Not only does the moon look larger to the human brain when it is close to the horizon, but there is far less glare. Try to look at a full moon when it’s high in the sky and you will find it almost impossible to look for more than a few seconds.

When to see the ‘Wolf Moon’ rise

You should check the exact moonrise time for your location, then look to the northeast. Wait about 10 minutes and be patient—it will appear! 

Here’s when best to see the “Wolf Moon” from three cities: 

  • New York City: 4:32 p.m. EST on Monday, January 17, 2022 (sunset is at 4:47 p.m.) 
  • Los Angeles: 4:58 p.m. PST on Monday, January 17, 2022 (sunset is at 5:01 p.m.).
  • London: 3:32 p.m. GMT on Monday, January 17, 2022 (sunset is at 4:23 p.m.) and at 4:39 p.m. GMT on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 (sunset is at 4:24 p.m.)

Why January’s full Moon is called the ‘Wolf Moon’

Supposedly it’s because wolves howl … but don’t they howl all year? In truth names for full Moons are not only un-scientific, but they vary greatly across the world. Other names for January’s full Moon include the Ice Moon, Old Moon, Snow Moon and Moon After Yule. According to Almanac, other traditional names from Native American culture include Frost Exploding Moon (Cree), Freeze Up Moon (Algonquin), Severe Moon (Dakota), Hard Moon (Dakota), Canada Goose Moon (Tlingit), Great Moon (Cree), Greetings Moon (Western Abenaki) and Spirit Moon (Ojibwe).

Why a rising and setting full Moon is orange

When observed close to the horizon, not only is the full moon considerably less bright, but it looks orange. A beautiful muted orange, that gradually turns to a lighter, slightly brighter yellow as the moon rises higher in the sky. The orange is explained by Rayleigh scattering. The oxygen and nitrogen gas molecules in our atmosphere absorb some wavelengths of light more than others.

Colors with long wavelengths, such as yellow, orange and red, are not absorbed as much because they more easily pass through the atmosphere uninhibited. So when you look at the Sun or the Mon close to the horizon where the atmosphere is thickest the visual effect of Rayleigh scattering is intensified, and the yellow, orange and red end of the spectrum dominate the light that makes it to your eyes.

That’s why the rising full Mon looks orange—and why you should get outside at the right time, look northeast and wait for a gorgeous full “Wolf Moon” to appear right before your eyes!

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

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