‘Wolf moon’ lunar eclipse delights skygazers

A Harvest full moon, which occurs just before the Autumn Equinox, signaling the start of a new season, rises next to the Piec
A Harvest full moon, which occurs just before the Autumn Equinox, signaling the start of a new season, rises next to the Piece Hall in Halifax, Yorkshire.

Astronomy enthusiasts were treated to the first full moon of 2020 on Friday evening, also known as the “wolf moon”, which coincided with a lunar eclipse.

Skygazers witnessed a penumbral lunar eclipse, with the moon passing through the earth’s shadow.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

The phenomenon saw the moon move into Earth’s penumbra, or outer shadow, causing the earth’s natural satellite to look darker than normal.

In January, the full moon is sometimes labelled a “wolf” moon, an unusual celestial label which seems to have stuck.

But those expecting the moon to turn red, a phenomenon dubbed the blood moon, were disappointed.

The wolf moon rises above Menwith Hill near Harrogate, North Yorkshir
The wolf moon rises above Menwith Hill near Harrogate, North Yorkshire (Danny Lawson/PA)

Ed Bloomer, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said: “Unfortunately, we won’t get one of those until 2021, though there are another three penumbral eclipses to look forward to in 2020.”

The next full moon will occur on February 9, which is also known as snow moon.

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