The Full Wolf Moon 2024: Is It a Full Moon Tonight?

~4 min
Topics:Moon

The first of 12 Full Moons this year will occur on January 25. It’s widely known as the Wolf Moon — read on to learn what these wild animals have to do with our natural satellite. You’ll also learn the best time and date to observe the Full Moon. Let’s get started!

Contents

When is January's Full Moon 2024?

The Wolf Moon in January 2024 will be the first Full Moon this year. The exact time of the Full Wolf Moon is January 25, 17:54 GMT (12:54 p.m. EST). At this moment, the Moon will reach its peak brightness, shining with a magnitude of -12.4. It will be in the constellation Cancer. Our natural satellite is the brightest object in the night sky and is very easy to observe even without special equipment. The lunar disk will look full to the naked eye for several days, starting around January 24.

To see more details on the lunar surface, grab a pair of binoculars. A pair of binoculars with 12x magnification is the best option for the Moon viewing, but when the lunar disk is fully illuminated, any option is suitable. An easy and spectacular target for spotting is the prominent crater, Tycho. To quickly locate it on the lunar surface, use our Star Walk 2 app — find the Moon there and choose the “Atlas” tab.

Moon phases for January 2024

  • Last Quarter: January 4, 03:30 GMT (January 3, 10:30 p.m. EST)
  • New Moon: January 11, 11:57 GMT (6:57 a.m. EST)
  • First Quarter: January 18, 03:53 GMT (January 17, 10:53 p.m. EST)
  • Full Moon: January 25, 17:54 GMT (12:54 p.m. EST)

To learn what the Moon looks like tonight, visit the new Moon Phases section on our website. There, you can check out the monthly lunar calendar and find out the Moon phase for any specific day, as well as the moonrise and moonset times.

In what constellation is the Full Moon tonight?

The Moon doesn’t hang in the same constellation all the time. It travels the sky rather quickly: during the period around the Full Moon, it will visit three constellations in three days.

The day before the Full Moon, on January 24, the Moon will be in the constellation Gemini. Then, it will move on to the constellation Cancer on January 25, at about 04:00 GMT. At the exact moment of the Full Moon, it will be near the Beehive cluster. On January 26, at about 16:00 GMT, the Moon will cross the border between the constellations Cancer and Leo.

Visible stars near the Full Moon in January 2024

The Full Moon is beautiful on its own, but being aware of the bright stars next to it will make your stargazing night even better.

  • From January 21 to 24, for a few days before the Full Moon, our natural satellite will be passing through the Winter Hexagon asterism, which is comprised of six stars: Sirius from Canis Major, Procyon from Canis Minor, Rigel from Orion, Aldebaran from Taurus, Pollux from Gemini, and Capella from Auriga.
  • On January 24, at 19:00 GMT, the Moon will meet Pollux (mag 1.2) – the brightest star in the constellation Gemini. Both objects can be seen with the naked eye, so you will easily find the bright dot near the Moon.
  • On January 25, at 20:04 GMT, the Moon will be near the Beehive cluster (mag 3.1) in the constellation Cancer. Under the dark skies, the cluster is visible to the naked eye as a blurry patch of light, but it’s best to observe the event with binoculars.

To identify these and many other bright sky objects near the Moon, use the sky map app — Sky Tonight. Launch the app and point it up into the sky. Sky Tonight will show you the names of all stars, planets, galaxies, and other celestial bodies. Tap a big blue button in the lower part of your screen to turn on the AR mode.

What is a Wolf Moon?

People from different cultures gave Full Moons names that represented the peculiarities of the 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.

Other names for January Full Moon

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. Depending on the region, you can hear such names as the Bear Moon, Bear Hunting Moon, and Goose Moon. One of the Celtic names for the January Full Moon is the Stay Home Moon, which sounds like sensible advice when it's cold winter outside, and wolves are howling. Here are some more examples:

  • Chinese: Holiday Moon
  • Celtic: Quiet Moon
  • North American: Old Moon
  • Cherokee: Cold Moon
  • Southern Hemisphere: Hay Moon, Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Mead Moon

On what date will the next Full Wolf Moon occur?

Soon, we’ll see the Full Wolf Moon on January 25, at 17:54 GMT (12:54 p.m. EST). After that, the next Wolf Moon will occur on January 13, 2025, at 22:27 GMT (5:27 p.m. EST).

When is the next Full Moon 2024?

The next Full Moon, widely known as the Snow Moon, will occur on February 24, 2024. If you’d like to learn more about the February Full Moon and the origin of its name, read our article.

To learn the schedule of all the Full Moons in 2024 and their names, check out our new infographic (the Supermoons are included)! Share the infographic on social media if you like it.

Full Moons in 2024
When is the next Full Moon in 2024? When is the Super Blue Moon this year? Check our Full Moon calendar for all dates, times, names, Supermoons, and more for the year.
See Infographic

Full Moon January 2024: The Essentials

The Full Moon in January 2024 will occur on January 25, at 17:54 GMT (12:54 p.m. EST). It will be the first Full Moon in 2024. During this month, the howling of wolves was often heard as they were hunting for food, hence the name “Wolf Moon”.

We wish you clear skies and happy stargazing!

Topics:Moon
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