Learn About January's Full 'Wolf Moon' in Slooh Webcast Tonight

You can get the skinny on the full moon of January, known as the "Wolf Moon," during a free webcast by the Slooh Community Observatory tonight (Jan. 12).

The show will feature live views of the moon, which officially reached its full phase this morning, from Slooh's telescopes in Chile and Spain's Canary Islands. You can watch the webcast at Slooh.com, beginning at 8:30 p.m. EST (0130 GMT on Friday, Jan. 13).

Slooh host Gerard Monteux, Slooh astronomer Bob Berman and Slooh's "human spirit correspondent," Helen Avery, will discuss historical and cultural components of the Wolf Moon and other full moons during the webcast, which will also feature live footage of real-life wolves.

"Myths and legends surrounding wolves and their interaction with the moon run deep through a number of cultures," Slooh representatives wrote in a statement.

"From werewolves to lupe-garu, the idea that the moon had an effect on men pops up in one form or another across the globe, dating back all the way to antiquity," they added. "Helen will explore a number of these tales throughout the show to help our viewers decide if they or their neighbors could be one of these mythical beasts."

All of the year's full moons have names, which were given to them by Native Americans living in the central and eastern parts of North America. For example, August's full moon is known as the Sturgeon Moon, and September's is the Corn Moon or Harvest Moon.

Photo: Courtesy @louisraphael. Blood moon: This reddish-orange moon appears during a total lunar eclipse, where the moon is stuck completely behind the Earth's shadow. The next lunar eclipse will occur in January 2018.

Wolf Moon set to appear Thursday night

The first full moon of 2017 is set to appear Thursday night, in what's called the Wolf Moon.

Also called the Snow Moon or Old Moon, January's full moon earned its name from Native American Tribes who heard wolves howling at the night sky during the month of January.

Unlike a Supermoon or Strawberry Moon, the Wolf Moon does not look any different than a typical full moon. The moon is due to rise at 5:55 p.m. Thursday and set at 7:22 a.m.

Moons of 2017: Full Wolf Moon rises tonight

You can get a look at the first full moon of 2017 tonight.

It's also what is commonly called a full supermoon -- at least according to some.

Fred Espenak, a retired NASA astrophysicist who worked for the Goddard Space Fight Center and is known as "Mr. Esclipse," lists three supermoons in 2017.

Then there's astrologer Richard Nolle, who first coined the term "supermoon" three decades ago and holds that there's only one supermoon in 2017, and that will be on Dec. 3.

So is it a supermoon or not? According to EarthSky.org it depends on your definition:

"If you define a supermoon based on the year's closest perigee and farthest apogee, then the January 2017 full moon is not a supermoon. If you define a supermoon based on the perigee and apogee for a given monthly orbit, then it is a supermoon."

January's full moon has another name -- the "Full Wolf Moon."

Each full moon throughout the year has its own name given to it by early Native Americans.

Here's a look at the full moons coming up this year:

January: Wolf Moon (Jan. 12)
February: Snow Moon (Feb. 10)
March: Worm Moon (March 12)
April: Pink Moon (April 11)
May: Flower Moon (May 10)
June: Strawberry Moon (June 9)
July: Buck Moon (July 9)
August: Sturgeon Moon (Aug. 7)
September: Corn Moon (Sept. 6)
October: Hunter's Moon (Oct. 5)
November: Beaver Moon (Nov. 4)
December: Cold Moon (Dec. 3)
The moon will rise between 5:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. today depending on where you are in Alabama, but it hit its peak fullness earlier Thursday at 5:35 a.m.

It will still appear full tonight.

According to Espenak, the three supermoons in 2017 are:

Jan. 12
Nov. 3
Dec. 3

The last one on Dec. 3 will be the closest moon of 2017 at 222,442 miles.

The moon will be at its farthest point from the Earth in 2017 on Sept. 13, when it will be 248,458 miles away.

There will also be two eclipses in 2017. The first is what EarthSky called a "deep penumbral" eclipse on Feb. 11 that will be visible from the Western Hemisphere but is a very subtle eclipse that can be more difficult to observe than a total or partial eclipse, according to EarthSky.

The second lunar eclipse will be on Aug. 7 but will only be visible from the Eastern Hemisphere.

Also getting a lot of attention already is a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, which will be the first total solar eclipse visible from the U.S. in 38 years.

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