You won't have to wait long for the first supermoon of 2018


And in this case, it's also a supermoon, a full moon that arrives when the Moon is at or near the part of its orbit that's closest to Earth.

To purists, the New Year's Day full moon is the closest to Earth in 14 months, making it the truest of a triumvirate of supermoons that began their parade in December. A full Moon occurring close to perigee is popularly called a supermoon, though astronomers prefer the less catchy "perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system". Consequently, for someone in the heart of the British Isles, the perigee Moon's centre lies 351,816 kilometres (218608 miles) away and measures 34 arcminutes in size - some 9 percent larger than average.

And as a NASA post on the "supermoon trilogy" explains, the one on January 31 will definitely be worth seeing.

The first, wolf moon, will be biggest of the year.

"It's a super blue blood moon", said NASA research scientists Noah Petro, who winces a little when using pop culture jargon to describe Earth's only permanent natural satellite. In the wee hours of that day, the moon will appear 14 per cent larger and almost 30 per cent brighter than a normal full moon. "It will be extra special", NASA added. However, because it can be challenging for the eye to tell the difference between a supermoon and a regular full moon without visual context.

If we get lucky enough with the weather, we'll be able to see the supermoon in the night of January 1 in Croatia, with the best moment to look up at the sky being 3:24 in the morning.

It's called the "Wolf Moon", because in Native American villages, the "Wolf Moon" would always be visible during the time of year when hungry wolf packs would howl outside due to colder weather.

Remember, the moon is a moving object, so if you want a really clear shot try downloading an app that makes the shutter speed faster.

During a lunar eclipse, the moon moves into Earth's shadow, so the only light reaching the moon's surface is reflected off the Earth's atmosphere.

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". This same night, there will also be a total lunar eclipse.

Having two full moons in 1 month makes the next one a blue moon - so the January 31 lunar spectacle will be a "super blue blood" moon.

Sometimes the celestial rhythms sync up just right to wow us.

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