No matter what the rest of the year holds for us, 2018 starts off with two great moons. The first will take place during New Year’s Eve. The second – a blue super moon – comes rather during the last evening of the month and coincides with a solar eclipse.
A super moon is a full moon that appears at the perigee, the closest part of the moon’s orbit to Earth. Superununes appear about 14 percent wider and 30 percent brighter than full moons that are seen from the apogee, ie, farther from orbit, according to NASA.
A supermoon is coming! On Jan. 1, the full Moon will be at or near its closest point in its orbit around Earth, making it a supermoon. Bundle up, get outside and look up! https://t.co/c0Ox5CDvmf Follow @NASAMoon for more lunar facts! pic.twitter.com/TH9H8Ly1V9
— NASA (@NASA) December 29, 2017
January’s super-moons are at the end of a trilogy of larger-than-life moons that began on December 3 with a beautiful full cold moon.
The super moons stay all night, are easy to see and are not harmful to the eyes, no matter how long you look at it. They are at their best when they get up and when they go to bed, according to NASA.
The January 1st super moon will be the biggest of the year, The moon will appear bigger than usual for a few nights in a row, but it will not be a full moon anymore.
“Full moon of the wolf: the new year’s moon is the biggest of the year,” tweeted Live Science.
— Live Science (@LiveScience) December 30, 2017
For those who will still wake tomorrow evening of January 1, a full moon even more fascinating will get up the evening of January 31. It’s going to be the last full moon of the month, which is usually called a blue moon because a double full moon happens essentially once in a blue moon, that is to say a delay of about every two years and a half. A blue moon is even rarer when it’s a super moon.
But it will not be the only rarity that evening. The blue super moon also falls during a total lunar eclipse, when the Earth moves between the Sun and the Moon, blocking the reflection of sunlight on the moon. If the sky is clear, the total eclipse can be seen from East Asia across the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast.
Lunar eclipses make the blood-red moon appear because of the way they block the sun’s rays. So get ready for the blood-red super moon on the night of the solar eclipse. To see the lunar eclipse at its best, NASA recommends watching it at sunset.
“Sometimes the celestial rhythms synchronize to dazzle us,” says the space agency.