January starts with wolf supermoon, ends with supermoon lunar eclipse

First supermoon of 2018 falls on New Year's Day

The New Year's Eve fireworks won't be the only show in the sky this year.

In a happy coincidence, New Year's Day will feature a supermoon, which will appear bigger and brighter than a typical full moon. This isn't as unusual as the saying "once in a blue moon" might imply: Two full moons typically occur in the same month every two and a half years.

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.

The first day of 2018 will be greeted with a supermoon in the night sky. According to NASA, "A supermoon is a Moon that is full when it is also at or near its closest point in its orbit around Earth".

But that's not the only label of January 31's moon - that full moon also happens to be the second full moon of the month, an event that is often referred to as a "blue moon". The Full Wolf Moon, the one taking place on New Year's day, will be visible starting around 4:30PM EST, assuming cloud cover isn't a problem in your location. The supermoon is a Full Moon when it is nearest point to the Earth on its orbit.

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On Jan. 31, a supermoon will appear in the sky along with a lunar eclipse. These sites include a few areas in eastern Asia and eastern Australia, where people will not see the first full moon until 2 January.

The eclipse will cover the face of the moon, turning it dark, as the Earth blocks the light of the sun from the moon. "Folks in the eastern United States, where the eclipse will be partial, will have to get up in the morning to see it", said Noah Petro, supervising research assistant at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when a full moon passes into Earth's shadow, making the moon appear red - hence the nickname blood moon.

However, there are some around the globe who won't experience it until the morning of February 1, which means it technically will not be a blue moon for them.

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