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Published: Fri, January 05, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Moon watchers get January treat

Moon watchers get January treat

Secondly, the moon will be a supermoon.

Following the two full moons occurring in January, the calendar month of February will have no full moon.

The first one is, just like at the beginning of the month, a supermoon. While the saying "once in a blue moon" suggests rarity, these events are more common than you might think.

According to NASA, a blue moon happens every two-and-a-half years. And January's blue moon will be followed by another blue moon in late March. It has also been dubbed as the "wolf moon".

Even that Supermoon is odd in itself.

Supermoons happen when a full moon coincides with the moon's perigee - a point in its orbit at when it is closest to Earth. The moon rotates around the Earth every 27.322 days, and we get a new full moon approximately every 29.5 days (those numbers don't match exactly due to elliptical orbits).

Regardless of how that turns out, the moon will be faithfully making its rounds up in the sky.

The full moon can appear as much as 14 percent larger in the sky and 30 percent brighter to the people's eyes than at minimum size and brightness.

After this year, the next time that a Blue Moon passes through Earth's umbra will be on 31 December 2028 and, after that, on 31 January 2037.

But know that these names can make an event like this sound more dramatic than it appears - it won't be anything like the total solar eclipse of 2017.

Unfortunately, just looking at the sky on January 31 will not guarantee a view of the lunar eclipse. The Earth will sit directly between the sun and the moon, obscuring light which normally reflects brightly.

The UK, most of Africa and much of the Americas won't get to see anything of the eclipse, since the moon will be hiding around the other side of the world. As a result, the moon takes on an orange color, prompting viewers to refer to it as a blood moon.

People in Alaska, Hawaii and northwestern Canada will be able to see the eclipse from start to finish. For the rest of the mainland US, the eclipse will be partial.

Some call it a super blue blood moon eclipse. "But it's another great chance to watch the moon".

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