January 2018 Brings Super Moons, Blood Moon, Blue Moon

  • January 2018 Brings Super Moons, Blood Moon, Blue Moon

January 2018 Brings Super Moons, Blood Moon, Blue Moon

Bundle up and look up on the evening of January 1 for the first full moon - and supermoon - of the month.

The supermoon's moon is a little bigger and brighter, but people can't eternally tell the difference, and it is a great reason just to go out and gaze at the sky. 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. The moon will appear to turn a reddish color, hence why they're usually called blood moons - meaning this supermoon will be something like a three-for-one special.

"The moon is so bright that it will make the deep sky objects nearby - the Orion nebula, for example - a bit harder to see if the sky isn't perfectly clear", Space.com notes. After the January 31 blue moon, there will be no full moon in February and then two full moons in March. Then, the moon will be just 223,068 miles from Earth, compared to its average distance of 238,855 miles.

The best time to see the full supermoon is right after moonrise, when it is just getting up above the horizon, timeanddate.com says.

Even if you somehow miss the supermoon on the night of January 1st - that New Year's Eve hangover will probably still be in full effect so we won't hold it against you - another lunar treat is slated for later on in the month. 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. The big event is coming on January 31, when another supermoon is set to light up the sky - making it, as some have pointed out, a "blue supermoon". In eastern North America, the eclipse will be partially visible.

And, that super/blue moon on January 31 will have a red sheen to it, because it will be part of a lunar eclipse, according to NASA.