Unbelievable period of special full moons begins New Year's Night

Dec 30, 2017, 01:07
Unbelievable period of special full moons begins New Year's Night

Because of this, the moon appears at varying distances each night, and when the full moon falls on the same day that it's at its closest point (called perigee) we see a supermoon in the sky.

The new year will be off to a celestial start with the appearance of a bigger and brighter supermoon - this time nicknamed the "wolf moon".

Bundle up and look up on the evening of January 1 for the first full moon - and supermoon - of the month.

The difference between a supermoon and a regular full moon isn't always easy to tell - though if you could put a supermoon next to a micromoon, a full moon that occurs when our satellite is at the part of its orbit furthest from Earth, you'd see the difference.

That's because the January 31 supermoon will coincide with a total lunar eclipse, which will give the moon a reddish glow due to the sunlight reflected by the Earth's atmosphere.

Supermoons occur due to the fact that the moon is in a slightly elliptical orbit with Earth, rather than a ideal circle.

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The January 31 supermoon is extra special this year, as it will also feature a total lunar eclipse. As an example, Space.com explained that in Melbourne, Australia, the first full moon comes on January 2 at 1:24 p.m. local time.

A supermoon occurs when the moon is in its full moon stage and also at the point in its orbit nearest to Earth, which is called perigee.

"The lunar eclipse on January 31 will be visible during moonset", Noah Petro of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center explained in a news release.

A attractive supermoon will light up the sky on New Year's Day and shine as a beacon of hope for all the people who over-celebrated the night before. The big event is coming on January 31, when another supermoon is set to light up the sky - making it, as some have pointed out, a "blue supermoon". In the United Kingdom, people can look up to see the full moon at 2:24 a.m. For the viewers of 31 January lunar eclipse, from some places, this will not be entirely visible because it starts near moonrise and is only visible on Earth's night side.

However, this time around the blue moon will occur on the same night (or morning, depending on where you are) as a total lunar eclipse.