You have probably noticed how bright the moon has been this week.
The full Wolf Moon occurs in opposition to the sun Friday at 2:21 p.m. From our vantage point, the moon will appear full both Friday and Saturday nights, although the view will be obscured by heavy clouds in all of Ohio this weekend.
The name Wolf Moon likely dates back to Native American cultures that charted the seasons by the full moons. In January, the howling of wolves sets the scene. Other names for the January full moon are the Cold Moon and Spirit Moon.
The added bonus Friday in some parts of the world including Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia is a penumbral lunar eclipse, which happens when the moon enters into Earth’s outer shadow, making the moon appear slightly darker than normal.
The penumbral eclipse will be visible in North America only in Alaska and Atlantic Canada Friday beginning at 12:06 ET and ending a little more than 4 hours later.
Lunar eclipses only occur during a full moon, but a penumbral lunar eclipse is not the same as a total lunar eclipse, when Earth’s shadow effectively blocks light from the sun that reflects off the moon.
There will be 13 full moon in 2020 because October will feature two full moons (October 1 and 31) — also known as a blue moon for its infrequent occurrence. Two supermoons are coming this spring (March 9 and April 7), when the moon looms larger and brighter than average.