Posts Tagged ‘blue moon’

Lunar Event of the Year!

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

The news is everywhere! Tonight’s Full Moon is a special phenomenon, featuring three lunar events in one: a Perigee Full Moon, the second Full Moon of the month, and a Total Lunar Eclipse!

While tonight’s Full Moon may not look any more spectacular than usual – except for those who manage to see passing through Earth’s shadow – the coincidental combination of these three events makes it a moment not to be missed.

PERIGEE FULL MOON: Because the Moon’s orbit around the Earth is elliptical, there are closest and furthest points along the path. Perigee describes the closest point, and apogee relates the furthest point. A Perigee Full Moon (informally called a “Supermoon”) occurs when a Full Moon closely coincides with Luna’s closest orbital point.

A New Moon can also coincide with perigee, and both – Full and New Moons – often coincide with apogee (sometimes called a “Micromoon”.) Perigee Full Moons are not especially rare; they can occur a few times each year; but coinciding with other lunar events, such as the second Full Moon in a month or a Total Eclipse – is a less common occurrence. Coinciding with both is actually rare! You can learn more about Perigee and Apogee Moons, here.


A Sky Full of Stars: January’s Joys!

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

The New Year begins with an astronomical bang, with two perigee Full Moons, four morning planets, two Moon/planets conjunctions, the Quadrantid Meteor Shower, and a lunar eclipse – all in the month of January!


PERIGEE FULL MOON – January 1/2: January’s first perigee Full Moon will also be the closest, thus largest-appearing, of 2018. The Moon will reach lunar perigee at 21:54 UTC on the 1st and 100% illumination about five hours later, at 02:24 UTC on the 2nd.

You can use a timezone convertor to determine your local times, but wherever you are, the Full Moon will look especially large and bright during the first two nights of the New Year!

FUN FACT: January’s Full Moon is also know as the Wolf Moon. At perigee, it will be 221,559-miles from Earth.