The Wolf Moon: When to see the first full moon and why this year's is different

Stargazers are set to enjoy the first full moon of 2020 - the Wolf Moon.

If skies are clear enough, the moon will be seen at the peak of its cycle on Friday January 10th - reaching full status at 7.21pm.

According to NASA, the moon will appear directly opposite the Sun (in Earth based longitude) at this time.

This year's full moon will appear slightly different to usual, however, as it coincides with a "penumbral eclipse".

"The planet Mercury will be passing on the far side of the Sun as seen from Earth, called superior conjunction. Because Mercury orbits inside of the orbit of Earth, it will be shifting from the morning sky to the evening sky and will begin emerging from the glow of dusk on the western horizon in late January 2020.

"The next full Moon will be Friday afternoon, January 10, 2020, at 2.21pm EST (7.21pm UK time). Although not visible from most of the Americas, the Moon will be in the partial shadow of Earth. For the side of Earth that will be able to see the Moon, the slight dimming of the Moon should be barely noticeable."

January's full moon is named after wolves that howled through winter. Credit: AP

January's Wolf Moon is nicknamed so after Algonquin tribes of the northern and eastern states of America named the first full Moon of winter the Wolf Moon, from the packs of wolves that howled amid the deep snows of winter.