Full Moon for January 2020

Howl At The Full Wolf Moon Eclipse on Friday, January 10!

January 10, 2020
Full Wolf Moon - OFA

The full Wolf Moon rises on Friday, January 10, 2020, the first of 13 full Moons this year. Some folks will see an eclipse! Learn more about when, where, and how to see the January full Moon!

The Full Moon in January 2020

Look skyward at nightfall of Friday, January 10, 2020, to spot the first full Moon of the year: the shining Full Wolf Moon.

January’s full Moon will reach peak fullness—meaning 100% of its face will be illuminated—at 2:21 P.M. EST on the 10th, but it will not appear in the sky until later that day.

For the best view, look for the full Moon rising from the horizon around sunset that day. See your local moonrise times for the best view.

The sunset embers smolder low,
The Moon climbs o’er the hill, 
The peaks have caught the alpenglow,
The robin’s song is still.

–John L. Stoddard (1850–1931)

Wolves and Moon

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on Friday, January 10

On Friday evening, many viewers will see a penumbral lunar eclipse during the full Moon. Specifically, the eclipse will be visible to those in Asia, Australia, Europe and Africa. It will not be visible in most of North America because it starts at 12:06 p.m. ET and ends at 4:14 p.m. ET. But those in Alaska, eastern Maine, and parts of northern and eastern Canada have a shot.

Note: In eastern North America, the Moon will be below the horizon during most of the eclipse, so be sure to check when the Moon rises in your area prior to the eclipse.

A penumbral lunar eclipse is different from a total lunar eclipse; it occurs when the Moon enters into Earth’s penumbra (or outer shadow). This causes the moon to look darker than normal. Some people can see it; others might not even notice. It’s not a dramatic sight like a total lunar eclipse (when the entire Moon is obscured and turns a deep red color). 

See the next eclipse for 2020!

Moon Phases for January 2020

Below is a calendar of our Moon phases for January 2020. Note: The times are in Eastern Standard time. See our Moon Phase Calendar for times in your city/state.

First Quarter: January 2, 11:45 P.M.
Full Moon: January 10, 2:21 P.M.
Last Quarter: January 17, 7:58 A.M.
New Moon: January 24, 4:42 P.M.

When is the next full Moon? See our Full Moon Dates chart.

Why Is It Called the Full Wolf Moon?

The full Moon names we use in The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from a number of sources, including Native American groups, Colonial Americans, or other traditional North American names passed down through generations. (Note that each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred.)

The full Moon for January was called the Full Wolf Moon because wolves were more often heard at this time. It was traditionally thought that they howled due to hunger, but there is no evidence for this. However, wolves do tend to howl more often during winter months, and generally howl to define territory, locate pack members, and gather for hunting.

In addition, Native American cultures typically hold a lot of respect—not fear—for wolves, so this month’s Moon name should be viewed with that in mind, too.

Other traditional names for the January Moon include: the Cold Moon, the Old Moon, and the Great Spirit Moon. See more Full Moon names and their meanings.

A howling lone gray wolf in snow-covered landscape.

January Full Wolf Moon Video

Each month, we will explain the traditional names of the full Moon along with some fascinating Moon facts. In this video, learn about January’s Full Wolf Moon. Click below to watch the video.

Best Days in January 2020

For Planting

Aboveground crops: 5, 6, 9, 27, 28

Belowground crops: 18, 19

For Setting Eggs

6, 7, 16, 17

For Fishing

1–10, 24–31

See all our Best Days for various activities.

Moon Folklore

A bright first Moon promises rain and a bountiful harvest; a red-tinted Moon means a dry year.

A growing Moon and a flowing tide are lucky times to marry.

A halo around the Moon predicts wet or stormy weather. 

Share your thoughts about this month’s full Moons below. Tell us if we’re missing anything that you would like to know!


Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Wolf Moon Aries

I also love the moon and my favorite animal is also the wolf! Your description could fit me as well, however my husband is an aquarius and he has no love of the moon, or nature, he pretty much just could sit in his basement for eternity in the dark with his music and be fine.

This is really really really

This is really really really koolzzz

4th quarter moon

When I was a kid, we always cut calves in the 4th quarter. A great Dr. we knew would only operate in the last quarter. When are the 4th quarters of 2016?

Wolf Moon, Snow Moon

Wolf Moon, Snow Moon

I love the almanac xoxoxoxox

I love the almanac xoxoxoxox

Does the moon spin on an axis like earth does

I guess because my sign is cancer I've always had an interest in the moon and also beleive stages of the moon affects my mood.

Moon rotation

The Editors's picture

Yes, the Moon spins on its axis, completing one rotation about every 29.5 days, relative to Earth, which equals the time that it takes for it to complete one revolution (orbit) around Earth. This means that we always see essentially the same side of the Moon (except for a few factors, such as libration). The Moon used to rotate faster, but over billions of years, Earth’s gravity slowed it down so that it is now in synchronous rotation. This phenomenon is called tidal locking, and the process is not yet finished: Earth’s rotation is also slowing. If the aging Sun doesn’t interfere, Earth will eventually be tidally locked with the Moon: One side of Earth will always face the same side of the Moon.

Hello friend I seen something

Hello friend I seen something called a white smokey substance around the full moon what its called it seems amazing and I love to see more and more today I'm going to watch that but I can't see why ? Can you answer me what it is ?

A bright Moon covered by a

The Editors's picture

A bright Moon covered by a thin layer of high clouds can sometimes make the Moon appear wispy. The light from the Moon (actually, from the Sun that bounces to the Moon, then bounces to Earth) will reflect and refract through ice crystals in the clouds. Sometimes, this will just cause a filmy glow around the Moon; at other times, you might see a rainbow prism on the clouds or an actual lunar halo (circle of light) around the Moon. In rare cases, you might see two faded small white moons to either side of the Moon, as part of a lunar halo: these are called moon dogs (or mock moons or paraselenae), also caused by light passing through ice crystals in the atmosphere.

Hi, we are planning to move

Hi, we are planning to move to our new house by next year January, do you have any suggestions what's auspicious date?

I used to check the best days

I used to check the best days list for when to advertise to sell. I can't find it on the Best Days Timetable or anywhere on the site. Is it still available?


Here is our Best Days

The Editors's picture

Here is our Best Days timetable: http://www.almanac.com/bestday... We haven't changed the activities in years, sorry.  We update the dates every month.

Is there really any

Is there really any correlation with a female's monthly cycle and moon phases and/or the tides in the ocean? It seems mine IS, LIKE CLOCKWORK!

In many cultures, the Moon

The Editors's picture

In many cultures, the Moon has been a symbol of fertility. Scientific studies have been conducted to try to determine whether there is indeed a link between the lunar cycle and women's monthly cycles. A few studies have found it likely (at least in some aspect), while many others have found no correlation. You can find reports of some studies online--search site:.edu or site:.gov.
On one side of the argument, the lunar cycle is 29.5 days. The average length of a women's monthly cycle is 28 days; some individuals average longer or shorter than 28 days, so depending on one's biological clock, she may or may not be in sync with the lunar cycle. An individual's length of a cycle can also change each month depending on health, age, and other factors. Some also argue that if the Moon influenced human menstrual cycles, then it should influence the cycles of other mammals as well; so that all species would have the same length--about 29.5 days. But the average number of days in a cycle varies quite a bit between species.
On the other hand, many women find that their cycles are in sync with the lunar cycle and firmly believe that the Moon has a definite influence. They are backed by hundreds of years of cultural history.

Surely if the lunar cycle

Surely if the lunar cycle controlled the female menstrual cycle, all women would ovulate simultaneously and all women would have their period at the same time.

I noticed that the moon does

I noticed that the moon does affect my cycle, but when I am around other females that affects it too. I am always alone now so the moon has greater pull now.

I always heard that, playing

I always heard that, playing bingo, gambling, lottery is lucky around full moon, is that true?

According to age-old

The Editors's picture

According to age-old folklore, prosperity will increase as the Moon waxes. That said, we always advise:
Lucky men need no counsel.

what is the best day to

what is the best day to attend visa in january month ending or 1st week of feb

i love this

i love this !!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you want your hair to grow

If you want your hair to grow faster, should you cut it on a new moon or a full moon?

To enhance hair growth, cut

To enhance hair growth, cut you hair on the new moon, this way, your hair grows better as the "moon grows"

A bit more detail...I

A bit more detail...I understand if you want your hair to grow, you cut it CLOSEST to the time of a full moon (but not past the minute). Same as stunting the growth - closest to the new moon (but not past - OR your in the next cycle).

I say on the full moon. I

I say on the full moon.
I trim my hair always on the full moon.I had short hair. So i started cutting it on the full moon each month.I only have 1/4 inch trimmed off. now my hair is about 5 inches away from my waist.I have been doing this for about 2 years now.True story.

See our Best Days to cut hair

The Editors's picture

See our Best Days to cut hair (to discourage OR encourage growth), based on the Moon signs here: http://www.almanac.com/bestday...



probable because,the moon

probable because,the moon does not have a voice. Or because the moon is to far away to hear you.

My moon cool 2

You got mad moon rspC+ mydude. Iwant 2 Know why When theMoon so far and We so close WHY the sun got nuttin to do wit it? Answer me these FARMSALAMlnac

For a few days, including Jan

For a few days, including Jan 17 and 18, a friend and I saw what looked liked a smaller-than-usual white crescent shape at the BASE of the invisible moon, like the shape of a bowl from the side. Can you help? Thanks