National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shared a stunning image of the last full moon of the year on Instagram, captioned, “Aaah-ooooooh! It’s a Wolf Moon to end the year.”
The picture shared a day ago has caught the eye of netizens, and has already garnered over 15 lakh likes.
The caption further read, “Beginning tonight, Earth’s BFF, the Moon will be appearing in the night sky in full view. This will be the 13th and final full Moon of 2020 and will be visible for about three days.”
The Wolf moon has a different name in different cultures, said NASA.
By season, as the first full moon of winter, the Algonquin tribes of what is now the northern and eastern United States named this the Wolf Moon, from the packs of wolves that howled hungrily outside the villages amid the cold and deep snows of winter.
Another name is the Ice Moon. By month, the full moon in December is called the Cold Moon.
Europeans called this the Moon after Yule, a 3-day winter solstice festival in pre-Christian Europe. Another English name for it is ‘Old Moon’.
As the full moon is closest to the winter solstice, this is the Long Night Moon. The plane of the moon’s orbit around the Earth nearly matches the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
For Hindus, this full moon is Datta Jayanti, commemorating the birthday of the Hindu god Dattatreya (Datta). For the Buddhists of Sri Lanka, this is Unduvap Poya.
It can also be called the Chang’e Moon, after three Chinese lunar landers were launched this time of year in 2013, 2018, and 2020. These missions get their name from the Chinese goddess of the Moon, Chang’e, who lived on the Moon with her pet rabbit, Yutu.