Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

January brings a Blue Moon, a Supermoon and a total lunar eclipse

A 2016 supermoon in Michigan. MLive file art A 2016 supermoon in Michigan. MLive file art
Glenn Montgomery | 02 January, 2018, 12:10

Put another way, if you didn't hear that the New Year's Day full moon was going to be the biggest and brightest one of the year, would you notice it? The second full moon in a month is called a "blue moon".

According to NASA, January's first full moon - nicknamed a wolf moon - will take place on January 1 and it will be a supermoon.

Prepare your binoculars, as a total lunar eclipse will occur on January 31, and it will be visible in the Philippines.

The full moon on January 31 is exceptional because it also occurs as a "super moon". The moon rises at 4:17 p.m.

When the moon hits its close point (perigee) in its orbit around Earth at the same time as the full moon, this is when a "Supermoon" will occur.

The moon is set to reach its perigee, at a distance of 3.56 lakh km from the earth, at 3.34 am and will set around 7.54 am.

Beach shack operators had complained about a lack of warning earlier this month, after a combination of cyclone Ockhi and Supermoon wrecked havoc on the beaches, with the rising water damaging several beach shacks and eroding beach stretches, popular with tourists. That means skywatchers will see the moon about 14% largers and about 30% brighter than a regular moon.

January 2018 will have not one but two full moons.

If the criteria for a supermoon is chiefly dependent on the moon's arrival at its closest point in its orbit relative to Earth, then the "super" branding is a bit of a misnomer.

'Comparing a supermoon with a typical full moon from memory is very hard'.

Another Supermoon is on the calendar for January 31, 2018. "It didn't look at all brighter than normal".

There are no full moons during February this year.

The good news... you will not have to wait long at all.

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