Just ten days into the new year, eagle-eyed Canadians will be treated to 2020’s first full moon, otherwise known as a “Wolf Moon.” However, Friday’s Wolf Moon will be particularly special and unusual this year, as it’s bringing with it the first lunar eclipse of the new decade.

Friday afternoon will be an exciting time for sky-watching Canadians, as January’s Wolf Moon will coincide with what scientists call a “penumbral lunar eclipse.”

At around 12:15 p.m. EST on Friday, the celestial body will pass behind the Earth, dipping through the outermost edge of our planet's shadow.

This will occur as the lunar body is at its fullest, making for quite a spectacle if you know what to look for!

The lunar eclipse will be visible primarily from the Eastern Hemisphere, with countries in Europe, Africa and Asia taking the best viewing spots.

That said, it’s expected to stick around in Canada until 4:12 p.m. EST, so as the skies darken, there are greater opportunities for good viewing.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, this penumbral type of eclipse will not be as dramatic as a total lunar eclipse, but the moon’s darker colour should still be noticeable to those who are looking.

For the best view possible, the Almanac recommends looking for its rising from the horizon, best seen around sunset today.

If you don't live in the visibility area, there are several webcasts available, so you can witness this rare lunar event from the warmth of your home.

The Virtual Telescope Project will be streaming the event lunar eclipse event from 12 p.m. EST.

Additionally, night sky site CosmoSapiens will be live-streaming the sky from 12 p.m. EST on their YouTube channel.

The wolf nickname is given to the only full moon in January and comes from the Algonquin tribes of northern and eastern America

The canine-inspired name is used to reflect the packs of wolves that would howl amid the deep snows of winter.

The January lunar spectacle is also sometimes known as the Cold, Old, and Great Spirit Moon.

If you don’t manage to catch any of it on Friday, don’t panic!

2020 is set to be a wonderful year for sky-watching, with three other lunar eclipses expected throughout the year.

More information about upcoming lunar events can be found here.

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