The first full moon of 2021 rises Thursday at 5:07pm. Are you ready to howl at the moon?

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The full moon in January is often referred to as the "wolf moon." One explanation about how this name originated is that wolves were frequently heard howling at this time of year, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.

"It was traditionally believed that wolves howled due to hunger during winter, but we know today that wolves howl for other reasons. Howling and other wolf vocalizations are generally used to define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, and coordinate hunting."

The January Moon has also been called the old moon, the cold moon, frost exploding moon, freeze up moon, severe moon and hard moon, but I like the wolf moon best.

The name wolf moon seems to speak best to the dead of winter.

According to Forbes, South Jersey and all of North America is set to have the "best view" of this January full moon, particularly between moonrise and sunset. The wolf moon will also be the highest full moon of the year.

If you like watching the sky you have a lot to look forward to in 2021, with three “supermoons,” one blue moon and two lunar eclipses all taking place this year.

Experts say the three supermoons - full moons that appear to be slightly bigger and brighter than a typical full moon because of their closer orbit to Earth, will be rising in the sky during consecutive months: April, May and June.

The next full moon, which is often referred to as the snow moon, will appear on February 27, 2021.

Sources: Old Farmers Almanac/Forbes

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