SlashGear

Supermoon 2018: Full Wolf Moon and Blue Moon, plus a total lunar eclipse

Next month will bring a pair of supermoons, the first arriving on New Year’s day, the other managing to slip in on the last day of the month. You’ll be able to see both, assuming the weather is agreeable. The first supermoon of 2018 is called the ‘Full Wolf Moon,’ and it will be visible starting early in the night on New Year’s day, while the second supermoon is what is known as a ‘blue moon.’

Both January 2018 supermoons will be full moons, and they’ll appear — especially when close to the horizon — to be larger than usual. 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 moon will reach its peak at about 9:30PM EST.

Due to its close proximity to Earth, the moon will appear up to 30-percent brighter and up to 14-percent larger than an ordinary full moon. This appearance is amplified shortly after the moon appears over the horizon, after which point the effect slowly diminishes as the moon moves higher in the sky.

After that, another supermoon will start on the night of January 30 but won’t hit its full phase until around 8:30AM EST on January 31. Unless you’re planning to break out a telescope, you’ve got some flexibility in viewing these two moons — to the casual observer, they will appear full before actually reaching their full state. Unfortunately, the blue moon won’t actually be blue in color.

The January 31 supermoon is extra special this year, as it will also feature a total lunar eclipse. If you’re located in Western North American or Eastern Asia, you may be able to see this happen. 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.