First supermoon of 2018 falls on New Year's Day

Hannah Rogers
January 2, 2018

When a February within that 19-year period has no full moon, which happens in 2018, that's when two blue moons can happen in the same calendar year.

There's an added bonus for stargazers, astronomy nerds and telescope aficionados - January's blue moon on the 31st will feature a total lunar eclipse.

So what is a "super moon"?

The moon is at its closest point to Earth - known as the perigee - around 221,600 miles away. The Full Moon phase will occur 4.5 hours later at 7.54 am. The farthest point is called an apogee.

And then there is the other facet: the oft-cited statistic that the perigee full moon is 30 percent brighter than a "normal" full moon. There are 235 full moons during the 228 months of the 19-year period which means at least seven of those months will have two full moons.

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Enio Cubillo, director of Civil Aviation, said the tourists travelling in the aircraft were staying in a nearby hotel. State Department said it was working with Costa Rican authorities to determine if the plane carried U.S. citizens.

Another Supermoon is on the calendar for January 31, 2018. It could not be seen well from Mumbai as the sky was overcast. Low-hanging moons can create a "moon illusion".

It may be cold outside, but you'll want to check out tonight's Supermoon/Wolf Moon. The orange/yellow/red colors come from atmospheric effects, when the moonlight gets scattered, much like through a prism, in the atmosphere. Nolle also wrote about how super moons can cause natural disasters. "At that time, the distance of the moon from the Earth will be 3,56,846 km". Weather permitting, the moon will still put on a great show!

The Jan. 1 occurrence is a wolf moon, the term for the first full moon of the year.

But do not worry if you missed it, there will be a second chance to see the supermoon at the end of January. A total lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes completely through the Earth's shadow.

"As long as it's clear out, you'll have no trouble seeing the moon at all", she said.

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