Post from Examiner.com
January’s full Moon names and observing notes 2013
This month’s full moon is commonly known as the Wolf Moon. Lesser known but equally appropriate names include Old Moon, Moon after the Yule, Ice Moon, Snow Moon, Hunger Moon, Cold Moon, and the Moon of the Terrible (Sioux). The Lakota Sioux called it “The Moon of Frost in the Teepee”.
January is named after the Roman god Janus or god of beginnings and transitions whose two faces appear on many gates and doorways in Rome.
Technically the full moon is only a moment in time. That moment occurs at 9:40 PM MST on January 26. The Moon will look full on the evenings January 25, 26, and 27. So which is closest to the true full moon? There is an easy way for the casual observer to tell. A full moon always rises opposite the setting Sun. In general, the Moon that rises within a half hour of sunset is closest to the full moon. If the Moon is well above the horizon or has not risen until well after (greater than a half hour) sunset, it is not a full moon even though it looks like one. Let’s see what the data shows this month for Aurora, CO.
Sunset: 5:10 PM MST
Moonrise: 4:11 PM MST
Difference: 1 hour 1 minute (Failed, Moon and Sun are not opposite)
Sunset: 5:11 PM MST
Moonrise: 5:10 PM MST
Difference: 1 minute (Pass, Moon and Sun are opposite)
Sunset: 5:12 PM MST
Moonrise: 6:10 PM MST
Difference: 58 minutes (Failed, Moon and Sun are not opposite)
This test works pretty much every time for any full looking Moon. This month the test is spot on because the full moon occurs so close to local sunset, a 4.5 hours difference. When the Moon is opposite the Sun in the evening or morning it’s a full moon. Take the time this month to notice.
A full moon is the only time the Moon is up all night and the only time a lunar eclipse can take place as it did last June. Full moons also set in the west opposite the rising sun. Living near the front range, as we do, provides neat moonsets over the mountains, easily noticed by early morning west-bound commuters.
On January 27 moonset (7:06 AM MST) will occur a few minutes before sunrise (7:11 AM MST). You want to start watching before 6:30am MST. If you have the time, observe the sunrise. They are usually pretty good here in Colorado.
Wishing you clear skies