Wolf Moon Explained: Significance and the Best Time to Catch a Glimpse

The moon will appear full for about three days, from Sunday evening through Wednesday morning, according to NASA.

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Extra attention will be paid to the skies Monday night as the eerily named Wolf Moon makes an appearance across the globe.

The first full moon of 2022, it will shine brightly in the evening hours, reaching peak illumination at 5:48 p.m. CT, according to NASA's real-time science encyclopedia, Solar System Exploration.

From the best time to see it, the origin story and other sights you may encounter, here's what you need to know:

How Did the Wolf Moon Get its Name?

The first full moon in January has often been referred to as the Wolf Moon for centuries. Its origin comes from Native Americans who often heard wolves howling during cold winter nights at this time of year, according to the Farmer's Almanac.

This isn't its only name, though.

The moon has also been known as the Ice Moon, the Moon after Yule, the Old Moon and the Thaipusam Festival Moon, among other names, according to NASA's website.

The Best Time to See it

In the Chicago area, you'll want to put your eyes to the sky as early as the 4 o'clock hour.

The moonrise is expected at 4:23 p.m., according to timeanddate.com

The best view may be Monday evening, but it's not the only chance to see it.

The full moon will appear full for about three days - from Sunday evening through Wednesday morning, according to NASA.

The first full moon of 2022 - the Wolf moon according to native north Americans - rises above Whitby Abbey in Yorkshire. Picture date: Monday January 17, 2022. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)

But what makes it so unique?

A full moon occurs when the moon is exactly on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun, according to Space.com.

Around 12 occur each year, roughly once per month.

No matter where you're at, the time is the same for everyone.

The timing is determined by where the moon is relative to the Earth rather than where it appears in the sky, which is slightly different depending on where one is located, according to the website.

Other Notable Sights

The wolf moon may not be the only stunning sight you'll encounter Monday.

As evening twilight ends around 5:14 p.m., the brightest planet visible will be Jupiter, appearing 20 degrees above the southwestern horizon, according to NASA. Saturn will also be visible, appearing to the lower right above Jupiter at only two degrees above the horizon and setting 15 minutes later.

You also may catch a glimpse of the bright star Pollux.

When is the Next Full Moon?

It'll be just about a month before you'll get to see another full moon.

The next full moon will be on Wednesday, Feb. 16, according to NASA. It will appear full for about three days, from about midnight Tuesday morning to about midnight Thursday night.

The bright star Regulus will also appear with the full moon.

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