Published: Fri, January 05, 2018
Research | By Clarence Powell

New Year's Day Brings Biggest Full Moon Of 2018

New Year's Day Brings Biggest Full Moon Of 2018

This rare coincidence of blue moon, supermoon and lunar eclipse is the first to grace our skies for over 150 years, Phys.org reports.

Taking place once in every two years and eight months on average, a blue moon, named after the rarity of its occurrence, is a second full moon within a month.

In March, however, there will be two full moons, with the blue moon on March 31. The moon will appear bigger and brighter in the sky.

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

To top it off, there will also be a total lunar eclipse.

Blue Moons aren't unique as they happen around once every 2.7 years because the number of days in a new moon to new moon is a bit less than the usual calendar month.

"We're seeing all of the Earth's sunrises and sunsets at that moment reflected from the surface of the Moon", Program Scientist at NASA headquarters, Sarah Noble, said in a release.

Three separate celestial events will occur simultaneously that night, resulting in what some are calling a super blue blood moon eclipse.

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Viewers are advised to watch the eclipse with binoculars or through a telescope to enhance the experience. Supermoons occur when we get a full moon near or at the point when the moon's orbit is closest to Earth, also called the perigee of its orbit (the technical term for the event is really perigee-syzygy).

During its orbit, it varies slightly closer (perigee) and farther (apogee) from Earth each month.

The awesome lunar event will take place on January 31.

The phrase "once in a blue moon" - meaning something that does not happen very often - impresses how infrequent this event is.

What is a total lunar eclipse?

A super blood moon sits above the Saint-Michel church in Bordeaux, France, September 28, 2015.

"The moon will lose its brightness and take on an eerie, fainter-than-normal glow from the scant sunlight that makes its way through Earth's atmosphere", according to NASA. That stunning event will lead to the moon turning a deep, rich red, a sight that has led to it being christened the "blood moon".

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