Cullman Supermoon On New Years Night

A ‘real’ blue Moon may be seen after a volcanic eruption

A ‘real’ blue Moon may be seen after a volcanic eruption Credit PETE LAWRENCE

The year 2018 begins with more than one show in the sky: two Supermoons, a Blue Moon, a lunar eclipse and a meteor shower all in one month.

In the wee hours of January 2, the moon will appear 14 per cent larger and almost 30 per cent brighter than a normal full moon, according to scientists. On January 31, a Blue Moon will rise in the sky. A total lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes completely through the Earth's shadow. It appears a bit brighter than a standard full moon, although weather conditions play a bigger role in its visibility.

But for those in North America, the eclipse will be visible before sunrise on January 31, according to EarthSky.

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2018 will also bring another blue moon in March. Peak viewing times for the rising of the moon are 5:04 San Francisco, 4:34 New York City, 6:06 Honolulu, and 4:15 Anchorage, Alaska.

On this first day of the New Year, the January full moon will arrive at perigee, its closest point to Earth in an orbit.

It may be cold outside, but you'll want to check out tonight's Supermoon/Wolf Moon. The moon won't come that close to Earth again until November 24, 2034.

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Furthermore, there was a supermoon on December 3 and there will be yet another one on January 31 to complete the "Supermoon Trilogy" - much to the delight of photographers looking for creative opportunities.

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". It looks slightly larger and slightly brighter, and definitely catches the eye. But it will occur very late, when the moon is close to the earth's horizon.

"As long as it's clear out, you'll have no trouble seeing the moon at all", she said.

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