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Wolf Moon rises above Alaska skyline

Jan. 26—If you thought you heard some howls cutting through the frigid air on Thursday night, it may be because the first full moon of 2024 rose above the Alaska skyline.

Known as a Wolf Moon, it peaked in illumination Thursday but will continue to appear full into Friday.

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the first full moon of the year was dubbed the Wolf Moon because people believed they were more likely to hear wolves howling when it appeared. Although it was commonly believed wolves howled when they were hungry, howling can actually act as a gathering call, a locator or a territorial warning.

But there may be something to the increased howling in the middle of the winter. According to the National Park Service, "wolves howl more frequently in the evening and early morning, especially during winter breeding and pup rearing."

A full moon happens when the moon is opposite the sun, as seen from Earth, putting the moon in its fullest visible state for viewers.

The next full moon is set to occur on Feb. 24, known as the snow moon.