What the heck is a "micromoon?"  Let's find out!

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The First Full Moon of 2023 Has a Lot of Quirks

The first full moon of 2023 is quickly approaching This full moon also happens to be the first full moon of wintertime, AND it's a "micromoon."  January's full moon is also referred to as the "Wolf Moon."  So why is it called the Wolf Moon and what does it mean to be a "micromoon?"

Photo by Paul Pastourmatzis on Unsplash
Photo by Paul Pastourmatzis on Unsplash
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The Full Wolf Moon

The first full moon of the year is the January full moon, and it's nicknamed the "Wolf Moon."  According to Farmer's Almanac, it's named the Wolf Moon after the sound of wolves howling at the moon during the cold winter months. You can see the full Wolf Moon on January 6th, 2023.

Photo by Paul Pastourmatzis on Unsplash
Photo by Paul Pastourmatzis on Unsplash
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Here is what Almanac.com had to say about the Wolf Moon and how it got its name:

It’s thought that January’s full Moon came to be known as the Wolf Moon because wolves were more likely to be heard howling at this time. It was traditionally believed that wolves howled due to hunger during winter, but we know today that wolves howl for different reasons. Howling and other wolf vocalizations are generally used to define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, and coordinate hunting.

2023 is also interesting because this year the Wolf Moon is also a micromoon.

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash
Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash
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What is a Micromoon?

I've heard of the term supermoon, but never micromoon.  It turns out a micromoon is the opposite of a supermoon. This full moon will still appear bright and illuminated, but it will not appear as big in the sky as other full moons due to the distance of the moon to earth.

Photo by John Silliman on Unsplash
Photo by John Silliman on Unsplash
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  Almanac.com goes on to explain:

It simply means that the full Moon is at its farthest point from Earth (not the nearest point). In astronomical terms, we call this “apogee.” Specifically, January’s Micro full Moon is about 252,600 miles from Earth.

So on January 6th take a step outside and check out the full Wolf Moon!

Must See: Astrophotography Taken Over Southern Illinois Zinnia Field

See beautiful images of the night sky over a zinnia field located in Redelman Orchards located in Southern Illinois. The spectacular photos were captured by Illinois photographers Grant Twiss and John O'Connell.

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