Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2012 January 20
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The Wolf's Moon
Image Credit & Copyright: Göran Strand

Explanation: A Full Moon rising can be a dramatic celestial sight, and Full Moons can have many names. Captured on January 8 from Östersund, Sweden, this evocative moonrise portrait might make you feel the cold of winter in the north. If you can also imagine wolves howling in the distance then you probably understand why Native Americans would have called it the Wolf Moon, their traditional name for the first Full Moon in January. The photographer reports that no wolves were heard though, as he watched this beautiful Full Moon rise in fading light over the eastern horizon, echoing the yellow color of the setting Sun. Of course, due this year on February 7, the next Full Moon will be the Snow Moon.

Tomorrow's picture: days in the sun

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