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

First supermoon of 2018 falls on New Year's Day

The January 31 supermoon is extra special this year, as it will also feature a total lunar eclipse.

'The supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the Moon, not just that once but every chance they have, ' said Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The final installment of the supermoon series will kick off on January 31, which will be "extra special", NASA says. The first moon of the New Year, the wolf moon, is named after the idea that wolves howl at the moon.

However, there are some around the globe who won't experience it until the morning of February 1, which means it technically will not be a blue moon for them. Supermoons occur when the moon is at the closest point on its elliptical orbit around Earth, which could make the moon appear a bit closer and brighter, according to NASA. A supermoon resembles bigger and vivid than when it is higher up in the sky.

On average, we see blue moons every 2.7 years, but in 2018 there will be two blue moons in a single year. The difference adds up over time until year will have 13 lunations as opposed to 12.

Blue Moons are not as uncommon as it is believed. The moon will reach its peak at about 9:30PM EST. In eastern North America, the eclipse will be partially visible.

After that, another supermoon will start on the night of January 30 but won't hit its full phase until around 8:30AM EST on January 31. The Earth, Sun, and Moon don't always lie in the same line.

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. This is known as the moon illusion, and the moon has not risen, it is a trick your eyes are playing on you. When that happens, the moon seems larger in the sky and also significantly brighter than it normally does.

A handsome supermoon will light up the sky on New Year's Day and shine as a beacon of hope for all the people who over-celebrated the night before.

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