A supermoon is set to light up the sky on New Year’s Day, as the lunar cycle and calendar cycle align for a rare astronomical treat.
New Year’s first full moon will peak on the night between 1 and 2 January 2018, at around 02:24 a.m. GMT (January 1, 9:24 p.m. ET).
It was known by early Native American tribes as the “Wolf Moon”, because this was the time of the year when hungry wolf packs howled outside their camps.
The 2018 Wolf Moon is also a “supermoon”, which means it coincides with the Moon’s closest approach to Earth – known as the perigee.
It will appear up to 8% wider and 16% brighter than average full Moons later in the year. The extra brightness of the full Moon on the night of Jan. 1-2 may have some side effects. Namely, super moondogs: http://www.atoptics.co.uk/halo/parmoon.htm
Moondogs are rainbow-colored splashes of light to the left and right of bright moons, created by the light-bending action of ice crystals in high cirrus clouds.
Clips, images credit: ESA/HUBBLE, ESO, NASA & THE OLD FARMER’S ALMANAC
Music credit: YouTube Audio Library
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