January continues to fly by and the time of the first full moon of 2016 is almost upon us. January 2016’s full moon is this Saturday the 23rd. Unusually for here in the Maine, the weather forecast is actually reasonably promising for seeing it.
If you are interested in moonrise, you can see Friday’s moonrise at 3:27 pm (with sunset at 4:27).(All times based on Maine, roughly speaking). You may not be able to see the moon right at moonrise because it will still be relatively light, but if not you should be able to see it soon afterwards. Saturday’s moonrise is at at 4:27 pm and sunset at 4:29 pm making it a very good photography opportunity. Sunrise/moonset on Sunday morning should be a good opportunity, too, with both moonset and sunrise at 6:59 am.
Full moon names for January of course focus on winter, with common names like the Wolf Moon of the Algonquin named for the time when wolves ranged across the barren landscape in the heart of winter. Other common January full moon names include Moon After Yule, Old Moon, Cold Moon, Winter Moon, and the like.
One favorite name of mine is the Great Spirit Moon from the Anishnaabe tribes of what is now known as the Great Lakes region. The Great Spirit Moon occurred during the dead of winter when food was scarce, and the Anishnaabe dedicated this full moon to the Great Spirit, their principal deity. The Anishnaabe also referred to this moon as “When the snow blows like spirits in the wind”.
Here are a few more of my January full moons from previous years, and you can see my full moon project, Adventures in Celestial Mechanics, on my website.