Starwatch: The full moon coincides with the constellations Castor and Pollux, also known as the celestial twins.
This week, the full moon will align with the celestial twins. The chart displays the perspective from London, facing south-east at 2000 GMT on January 24th. During this time, the full moon will be positioned directly below the stars Castor and Pollux in the Gemini constellation.
According to Greek and Roman mythology, the twin half-brothers, Castor and Pollux, had different fathers – Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, while Pollux was the divine son of Zeus. Pollux asked Zeus to grant him the ability to share his immortality with his brother, and in response, Zeus turned them into stars.
The moon will have a bright glow, with 99.1% of its visible side lit up. As stated in the Old Farmer’s Almanac, this month’s moon is known as the wolf moon. While typically associated with the full moon, the name actually encompasses the entire lunar month, also called a lunation.
The names of the lunar cycles are primarily derived from sources in North America, including Indigenous and colonial traditions, as well as European influences. The wolf moon is believed to have earned its name due to the higher chances of hearing wolves howl during the harsh winter season.
This particular full moon is the initial of twelve that will take place during 2024. The moon can also be seen clearly from the southern hemisphere.