Winter is often thought to be the best time of year for star-gazing, if you can brave the cold.
What’s more, star-gazing around the time of the full moon is often the best time of month, as the sky is most fully illuminated.
This month, the full moon has a special term: wolf moon.
With the wolf moon just around the corner, here’s what the term means and how you can see the moon at its best in Edinburgh.
What is a wolf moon?
A wolf moon is a special name given to the first full moon of the year.
In 2022, this will fall on Monday January 17th.
The term is thought to have Native American and European roots, and is supposedly connected to the belief that wolves were more likely to howl around the full moon, especially the first one of the year.
This belief has been generally disproved now, as we know that wolves howl in order to communicate with one another.
Wolves are nocturnal, which explains why they howl at night, and turning their mouths up to the moon means that their calls are carried further, making it more likely to be heard by other wolves.
A full moon takes place when the moon is positioned on the opposite side of the Earth to the Sun, and so its full face is illuminated.
How best to see the wolf moon in Edinburgh
The sun will set at around 4.15pm on January 17th, with the moon starting to rise roughly 30 minutes before that.
The weather is set to be partially cloudy on this evening, so it might be tricky to see the wolf moon fully.
The higher up you go, the more likely you will be able to break through the cloud cover.
Spots like Arthur’s Seat, Blackford Hill, or any of Edinburgh’s other elevated outlooks are perfect to make the most of the first full moon of the year.
What’s more, try and stay away from city lights, like buildings or street lamps.
Light pollution can often interfere with the view and make it harder to see the natural sights lighting up the night sky.