Miami-Dade County

The biggest and brightest supermoon of 2018 will happen on New Year’s Day

The moon appears from the sky in the first supermoon of 2018 as seen from suburban Makati city east of Manila, Philippines, on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. A “Super Blood Blue Moon” is expected later this month; scientists say that “supermoon” will coincide with a total lunar eclipse. A “supermoon” occurs when the moon appears bigger and brighter in the sky.
The moon appears from the sky in the first supermoon of 2018 as seen from suburban Makati city east of Manila, Philippines, on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. A “Super Blood Blue Moon” is expected later this month; scientists say that “supermoon” will coincide with a total lunar eclipse. A “supermoon” occurs when the moon appears bigger and brighter in the sky. AP

The first and last supermoon of 2017 didn’t happen until December, but in 2018 the wait won’t last past New Year’s Day.

Sky gazers will be able to see the first supermoon of the year Monday night, and it is set to be the brightest one of the year, according to NASA.

Monday’s supermoon — a non-scientific term that references the point in a full moon’s orbit where it makes the closest approach to Earth — will appear about 6 percent bigger and 14 percent brighter than the average full moon.

And if you miss Monday’s supermoon, the wait won’t be long as another will take place on Jan. 31.

NASA described last month’s supermoon, Monday’s and the one coming at the end of the month as a sort of trilogy of supermoons. The New Year’s Day moon has been described as the “Wolf Moon” by the agency and is expected to be the brightest of the three.

But the Jan. 31 supermoon will also be impressive, according to NASA, as it will be a total lunar eclipse and give the moon a reddish glow—referred to as a “Blood Moon.” It will also have the distinction of being the second full moon of the month, and the second supermoon of the month, making it a “Super Blue Moon.”

Video by Robert Harper of Asheville, N.C., catches the surprise appearance of a jet crossing the moon as it eclipses the sun during the eclipse totality, 2:38 p.m., on August 21, 2017. Harper caught the scene on a tripod-mounted Panasonic Lumix DM

Lance Dixon: 305-376-3708, @LDixon_3

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