January starts with wolf supermoon, ends with supermoon lunar eclipse

Adjust Comment Print

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. On the night of January 30th, a blue moon will rise for much of the world, reaching fullness at approximately 8:27am EST on January 31st. A supermoon occurs when the moon becomes full on the same day that it reaches its perigree, the point in the moon's elliptical orbit when it is closest to Earth.

It may seem like the 31st's moon is the lunar spectacle to keep your eyes on, but don't forget about the one on New Year's Day - it could be a great way to commemorate the start of 2018. The moon will be 223,068 miles, 358,994 in km from Earth. The flawless time to encounter the Full Moon Supermoon is after moonrise when it is just above the skyline. Really, this is the astrological event that is a true must-see in January. The final installment of the supermoon series will kick off on January 31, which will be "extra special", NASA says.

The supermoon 2018 is expected to occur on January 1, coinciding with New Year's Day.

It's almost impossible to compare the apparent size of the supermoon with a micromoon from memory, but when seen side-by-side as in this graphic, it becomes clear.

The second of a "supermoon trilogy" that began with a supermoon at this beginning of this month, the New Year's supermoon should look about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual, the space agency reports.

NASA forecasts yet another supermoon on January 31 which will also feature a total lunar eclipse.

More news: Not just nukes: North Korea reportedly trying to mount Anthrax on ICBMs
More news: Health officials report first child flu death in state
More news: President Trump Says He Believes Robert Mueller's Russia Investigation Will 'Be Fair'

Supermoons occur due to the fact that the moon is in a slightly elliptical orbit with Earth, rather than a flawless circle. A blue moon is the term given to a full moon that occurs twice in the same month and only happens about once every two-and-a-half to three years, though it typically doesn't actually look any different than any other full moon.

So the moon won't be as bright, but it will "take on an eerie, fainter-than-normal glow", NASA says, and could take on a "reddish hue".

For January 31, 2018, you'll have to be up early here in Columbus to see the partial lunar eclipse.

"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.

And these occasions all serve to remind us of one good thing, according to Petro.