EACH year we usually see 12 or 13 full moons – and tonight is one of those special occasions.
The next full Moon is called the Wolf Moon, and it's visible on Friday, January 6.
Is it a full Moon tonight?
The next full moon – known as the Hunter's Moon -is on October 9, 2022.
According to Royal Museums Greenwich: "After the harvest moon comes the hunter's moon, in the preferred month to hunt summer-fattened deer and fox unable to hide in bare fields.
"Like the harvest moon, the hunter's moon is also particularly bright and long in the sky, giving hunters the opportunity to stalk prey at night.
"Other names include the travel moon and the dying grass moon."
When can I view Wolf Moon?
The Wolf Moon rises at 3.21pm local time in New York on January 6, and then setting at 7.26am the next day.
In the UK, the full Moon will peak at 11.07pm.
How many full Moons are there in a year?
There are 13 full Moons to spot in 2023, each with its own unique name.
Here's the full list:
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- January 6 – Wolf Moon
- February 5 – Snow Moon
- March 7 – Worm Moon
- April 6 – Pink Moon
- May 5 – Flower Moon
- June 3 – Strawberry Moon
- July 3 – Buck Moon (supermoon)
- August 1 – Sturgeon Moon (supermoon)
- August 30 – Blue Moon (supermoon)
- September 29 – Harvest Moon (supermoon)
- October 28 – Hunter's Moon
- November 27 – Beaver Moon
- December 26 – Cold Moon
Supermoons are relatively rare, occurring just three or four times in a single year.
That's because you need a full Moon to occur alongside close-to-Earth orbital positioning.
There are four supermoons in 2023, on the following dates:
- July 3 – Buck Moon
- August 1 – Sturgeon Moon
- August 30 – Blue Moon
- September 29 – Harvest Moon
The August 30 supermoon also happens to be a Blue Moon.
A Blue Moon is a rare occurrence when you get a second full moon in a calendar month.
It has nothing to do with the colour of the moon, but is exciting nonetheless.
You usually only get a Blue Moon every two or three years – although you can get two in a year in rare cases (like 2018 and 2037).
So if you're a skywatcher, August will be particularly interesting.
What is a full Moon?
According to NASA: "During a 'full moon,' the hemisphere of the Moon we can see from Earth is fully illuminated by the Sun."
The Moon itself does not produce visible light, making the Sun the main source of light for the Moon.
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