An Epic Super Blue Blood Moon Is Coming to Ring in 2018

Supermoon to Rise on New Year's Day

While the term itself is fairly new, supermoons can transpire multiple times per year, with three lining up consecutively in late 2016. It'll be the first of 2018 and it will be closely followed by another just weeks later.

So, lunar gazers will witness a 'blue, blood supermoon, ' on January 31.

In short, stargazers are in for a treat this coming New Year's Day thanks to the second supermoon that's coinciding with the event, but the third supermoon on January 31 is arguably the moon that people can't afford to miss.

A supermoon occurs when the moon is in its full moon stage and also at the point in its orbit nearest to Earth, which is called perigee. It's nicknamed the "wolf" moon conjuring images of howling wolves. As an example, Space.com explained that in Melbourne, Australia, the first full moon comes on January 2 at 1:24 p.m. local time. Since the Moon's orbital path is oval, one side is approximately 50,000 km far from the Earth.

The supermoon will happen the evening of January 30.

Finally, the supermoon, or second full moon of the month, will take place the night before the second full moon on January 30. The final installment of the supermoon series will kick off on January 31, which will be "extra special", NASA says.

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On average, we see blue moons every 2.7 years, but in 2018 there will be two blue moons in a single year. The moon will pass into the Earth's shadow, making it a Blood Moon.

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".

NASA forecasts yet another supermoon on January 31 which will also feature a total lunar eclipse. Totally eclipsed moons are sometimes referred to as a "blood moon", which is why the end of the month supermoon earned the special designation of "super blue blood moon".

The lunar eclipses are visible from anywhere in nighttime unlike the solar eclipses which can be seen from specific places.

"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, according to the space agency.

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