Sky watchers are in for a treat over the coming January as NASA have announced that they expect to see incredibly rare Moon presentations at various points in the month beginning with the first supermoon of the year which will appear on New Year’s Day.
Rare super blue moon to appear in January
The supermoon will be the first full moon of the year, a phenomenon which is referred to as the wolf moon, following the notion that wolves howl at full moons. The appearance of the first full moon of the year would be special enough, but this first full moon will also be a supermoon.
More unusually, this will be one of three supermoons occurring in a row. The first supermoon occurred on December 3rd, the second will appear on New Year’s Day and the final supermoon of the season will appear on January 31st.
Looking to January 31
According to NASA, the supermoon of January 31st is expected to be the most spectacular and worthy of staying up late for. The space agency explains that this supermoon will be an incredibly rare experience. It is quite unusual for full moons to appear within the same month as one another meaning that this moon presentation is a ‘blue moon’ – which occurs only every two and half years. In addition to this, the super blue moon will feature a total lunar eclipse which occurs approximately every six months.
A representative from NASA writes on their official website that during the lunar eclipse “The Moon will lose its brightness and take on an eerie, fainter-than-normal glow from the scant sunlight that makes its way through Earth’s atmosphere. Often cast in a reddish hue because of the way the atmosphere bends the light, totally eclipsed Moons are sometimes called ‘blood moons.'”
Noah Petro, a research scientist, based NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has said that the fascinating and rare sight will be visible to people living in the eastern United States, but they will have to get up very early morning if they want to see it with their own eyes.
However, even if people are not able to see the stunning moon over the coming month, Petro reminds them that the Moon is always worth looking at. “The supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the Moon, “he said, “not just that once, but every chance they have!”