The First Supermoon of 2018 Arrives on New Year's Day

Janie Parker
December 30, 2017

There will be more than just fireworks lighting up the night sky this New Year's.

Most days the moon is almost 238,855 miles from Earth, but during the supermoon it will be approximately 223,068 miles away, according to NASA. They typically occur around every 13 months, according to NASA. This means not only will we have a Blue Moon in January, but for the western U.S., Hawaii and half of Asia, the moon will also be a blood red color as it enters the deepest part of the eclipse.

A supermoon is a new or full moon that appears bigger to the human eye because it is the closest to the Earth during its orbit.

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.

You'll have another chance to catch a supermoon on January 31.

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It's called the wolf moon, because at this time of year hungry wolf packs would howl outside Native American villages during the chilly peak of winter, according to the Farmer's Almanac.

Finally, the supermoon, or second full moon of the month, will take place the night before the second full moon on January 30. Viewers on the eastern side of the United States will be able to view a partial lunar eclipse during moonset on the morning of February 1. Then, the moon will be just 223,068 miles from Earth, compared to its average distance of 238,855 miles.

Due to its close proximity to Earth, the moon will appear up to 30-percent brighter and up to 14-percent larger than an ordinary full moon.

Michelle Nichols, administrator of public observing at Chicago's Adler Planetarium states that when you look at it near the horizon, there's an optical illusion. 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".

But, if you're in California, you're in luck. At 4:51 a.m. local time, the total phase will start and totality will end at 6:07 a.m.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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