2018's first Supermoon falls on New Year's Day - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

2018's first Supermoon falls on New Year's Day

The supermoon rises over Louisville in November 2016. (Source: Steven Richard/WAVE 3 News) The supermoon rises over Louisville in November 2016. (Source: Steven Richard/WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The new year looks to start with an astronomical bang.

The first Supermoon of 2018 will occur on New Year's Day. A Supermoon occurs when a full moon happens when the moon is at perigee or its closest point to Earth in its orbit.

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According to Space.com, on New Year's Day at 5 p.m. EST, the moon will reach its closest point to the Earth in 2018: an extreme perigee distance of 221,559 miles away from our planet. Four hours and 24 minutes later the moon will officially become full. Scientists say the difference between the full moon and the nearly full moon is imperceptible to most observers.

Another Supermoon will occur on January 31 and will feature a total lunar eclipse. Eclipse totality will be viewable from western North America across the Pacific to East Asia, according to NASA. The moon will lose its notable brightness and turn a reddish hue; this color is why totally eclipsed moons are sometimes called "Blood Moons."

The January 31 Supermoon will also be a Blue Moon since it will be January's second full moon. With the total eclipse, this will be a ‘Super Blue Blood’ Moon.

The moon's orbit is not perfectly circular so its distance from Earth varies; the moon sits anywhere between 252,000 and 226,000 miles from Earth. 

Send us your supermoon photos on our Facebook page or on twitter @wave3news.

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