Published: Sat, December 30, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Fantastic period of special full moons begins New Year's Night

Fantastic period of special full moons begins New Year's Night

The first full moon of January will take place on the night of New Year's Day.

New Year's Eve often prompts people to gaze into the sky, whether it be for a fireworks display or simply to watch the big ball drop in Times Square, but the night of January 1st, 2018, will give you another reason to look up.

Astrologer Richard Nolle first defined the term supermoon in 1979 as he explained that the phenomenon "is a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90 per cent of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit". Three curious things might appear in the sky: a Blue Moon, a total eclipse of the moon and a Supermoon.

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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.

But that's not the only label of January 31's moon - that full moon also happens to be the second full moon of the month, an event that is often referred to as a "blue moon". 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. The moon will be 223,068 miles, 358,994 in km from Earth.

In this case, the whole event is made even a bit more special by the fact that this supermoon is one of three occurring right in a row.

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That supermoon on January 31 also will be a blue moon, which is the name given to any second full moon in one calendar month.

That celestial event will be visible from western North America through the Pacific Ocean to eastern Asia, NASA says. As an example, explained that in Melbourne, Australia, the first full moon comes on January 2 at 1:24 p.m. local time.

The eclipse of the moon will happen the evening of January 31 or the morning of February 1. The Earth, Sun, and Moon don't always lie in the same line.

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A total lunar eclipse occurs when a full moon passes into Earth's shadow, making the moon appear red - hence the nickname blood moon.

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