Begins with Supermoon, Quadrantid Meteor Showers and Lunar Eclipse

Posted January 05, 2018

New Year's Day brought a stunning supermoon to the night sky, shining bigger and brighter than a normal full moon.

A phenomenon known as a "blue supermoon" will light up the city's skies.

The next blue moon eclipse won't occur until 2028. This will be the first eclipse of 2018. What makes the super moon also a blue moon is the ideal, dual timing of the second full moon of the month (a blue moon) - a rare occurrence in itself - and the moment when the moon is closest to Earth in its orbit, making it appear bigger and brighter than usual. That's a blood moon, a blue moon, and a supermoon all at once. The total eclipse of a blue moon has not happened in more than a 150 years apparently.

A supermoon is for many astronomers a controversial term.

The next total lunar eclipse this year will occur on 28 July and will be a micro moon, which occurs when a full moon or new moon coincides with the point in the moon's orbit farthest away from Earth.

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It's almost impossible to compare the apparent size of the supermoon with a micromoon from memory, but when seen side-by-side as in this graphic, it becomes clear. "The red/blood moon is possible because while the moon is in total shadow, some light from the Sun passes through Earth's atmosphere and is bent toward the moon", SCS said. By that criteria, we should get a cycle of several supermoons about every 14 full moons.

Another Blue Moon is expected to be seen late in March this year making it a really special year for astronomers and astrologers. Another trio comes in 2019. On January 2, the moon rose as a perigree full moon, when its orbit is closest to Earth, so it looks larger and brighter.

SOMERSET skygazers were treated to "the biggest and brightest" supermoon of the year as it rose across the United Kingdom on New Year's Day.

Following the two full moons occurring in January, the calendar month of February will have no full moon.

A "blue" moon has nothing to do with color.