When can I see it?
Look up between January 1 and 2, 2018 at about 2.24 GMT. There’s a window of opportunity if there are clear skies. The second supermoon will be on January 31 called Blue Moon.
What is a supermoon? in image by Reuters. A supermoon takes place every one to two years, when the full moon coincides with its closest point to Earth during its monthly orbit. Because the moon has an elliptical orbit, one side – called the perigee is about 48,280 km (30,000 miles) closer to Earth than the other side (the apogee). When the sun, moon, and Earth line, the moon orbits Earth known as syzygy and definitely something you want to keep in your back pocket for next Scrabble match. When Earth-Moon-Sun system occurs with the perigee side of moon facing earth and moon happens to be on the opposite side of Earth from the sun, we get what’s called a perigee-syzygy. That causes the moon to appear much bigger and brighter in sky than usual, and it’s referred to as a supermoon – or more technically, a perigee moon.
Why is it called the Wolf Moon? The January Full Moon is called Wolf Moon. Other names are Old Moon, Ice Moon, and Snow Moon, although this name is usually attributed to the February Full Moon. No scientific evidence shows the Moon phase has any influence on the calls of the wolf, wolves are nocturnal animals, so they are in general more active at night. They are known to howl in the direction of the Moon. They point their faces toward the sky for better acoustics, because projecting their howl upward carries sound farther. Wolves are particularly loud and vocal in first months of the year so people associate month of January with howling wolves.
When is the ‘red blue moon? in image by Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo. The Wolf Moon is first of two full moons in January. The second will take place on the night of January 31. According to tradition, when two full moons appear in the same calendar month, the second is termed a “Blue Moon.” It is a celestial phenomenon that gives rise to phrase “once in a blue moon.” The Blue Moons occur because lunar month lasts about 29.5 days calendar months last anything between 28 and 31 days. Occasionally, this means that a full moon can be seen twice in one month. And January’s Blue Moon is almost a supermoon, because it will reach the closest point in its orbit on January 30. In some areas, including most of North America, Asia, Australia, there will be a total lunar eclipse on the night in January 31, causing the moon to appear red in the sky. So this may be rare opportunity to see red Blue Moon.
How to get the best picture?
- Stay away from bright lights
- Try and pick a spot marked by interesting buildings or trees so the moon shows up in comparison
- Keep the flash off
- If you’re using your phone use your finger to focus the camera on where the moon is
- The moon is actually moving so for a clear picture use an app that has a quick shutter speed
- Tripods, zoom lenses and all the extra bits aren’t really needed but will help keep you steady and get a better close.
Blessed Happy Prosperous New Year.