Smoky Mountain Full Wolf Moon. Full Wolf Moon to rise on January 28, 2021. Mother Nature is getting ready to howl as the Full Wolf Moon rises above the Great Smoky Mountains on January 28, 2021. Scheduled to begin its ascent a few hours past noon, the huge silver disc will not be visible until it appears above the horizon after sunset.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, January’s full moon became known as the Wolf Moon because people thought that hungry wolves were heard howling more often during this often bleak and frigid month. Today’s research says that explanation is not necessarily true as we now know that wolves howl for a variety of reasons that include defining territory, locating packs, directing hunting and for simple social bonding.
This, the second full moon of the winter season, has been called by many other names throughout the centuries-. These include the Center Moon, as it generally marks the middle of winter. Other names, thought to define the harsh coldness of the season, include Cold Moon; Fire Exploding Moon; Freeze Up Moon; Snow Moon and Hard Moon. Generally in America, the second full moon of the winter season is referred to as the Wolf Moon, Snow Moon or Hunger Moon.
Lunar gazers can expect to see a full-looking moon in the east at dusk and then watch its upward climb to its highest peak around midnight. Early risers can enjoy the bright orb in the western sky before sunrise.
Although the moon appears to be full for several nights, astronomers declare the moon turns full at a well-defined instant when it is directly opposite the sun and 180 degrees from the sun in ecliptic longitude.
Unfortunately, despite the moon’s name, the eerie howl of wolves is no longer heard in the Great Smoky Mountains which was once home to both gray and red wolves. A recent attempt to reintroduce red wolves failed and, according to official state records, the last gray wolf was taken from Haywood County in North Carolina in 1887.
Whatever you choose to call this moon it represents the time after the winter solstice for new beginnings and, as days become longer, the conquest of light over darkness.