Supermoons, meteor shower to light up the sky this January

02 January, 2018, 12:08 | Author: Myrtle Cook
  • December's Full Cold Supermoon as seen at sea in the Atlantic

New Year's Day will culminate with the second "supermoon" in a month - and a third will follow 30 days later.

In the wee hours of January 2, the moon will appear 14 per cent larger and almost 30 per cent brighter than a normal full moon, according to scientists. But, this Blue Moon, which is also a Supermoon, will bring another treat.

But if you miss tonight's moon - never fear, the January 31 moon will be "extra special" according to Nasa. Cue space tourism. In February, Elon Musk-owned SpaceX announced that it would be sending paying tourists to the moon in flights as early as 2018. Peak viewing times for the rising of the moon are 5:04 p.m.in San Francisco, 4:34 p.m.in New York City, 6:06 p.m.in Honolulu, and 4:15 p.m.in Anchorage, Alaska.

As the moon orbits the Earth every month, there is a point in every cycle where the moon is closest (perigee) and a point where it's farthest away (apogee). Monday, our lunar companion reaches an extreme perigee distance of 221,559 miles.

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The moon will technically be considered 100 percent full a 9:24 p.m. "It didn't look at all brighter than normal". The last time two blue moons happened in the same year was 1999. When added to the glow of a full moon, the difference is hardly perceptible to the human eye. It was the closest approach to Earth since 1948.

The popular astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson probably said it best: "In the overall scheme of things, is this relatively small increase in the moon's apparent size really so meaningful?"

PAGASA, however, said the moon appearing with a tinge of blue, may occur in certain atmospheric conditions like during volcanic eruptions or when exceptionally large fires leave particles in the atmosphere.

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