The new year is starting strong for the astronomy enthusiasts, as they already have to get ready for skygazing. Due to a perfect synchronization between our calendar and the lunar cycle, the first day of the year will be marked by a full moon. It is the first full moon in the first month of the year, and is called the Wolf Moon.
The Wolf Moon will be the first of the two full moons of January
The Wolf Moon will reach its brightest state on January 1st, at 9:24 p.m. ET. However, New Year’s Eve will also be drowned in moonlight, since the night sky will be bright both before and after the first day of the year. Apart from this perfect timing, the moon has other surprises as well.
On January 1st, the moon will occupy a section in its orbit close to its perigee. This spot is the closest in the orbit to our planet, so 2018’s Wolf Moon will appear slightly larger than other moons. If you take some time to look at it and admire its beauty, it will offer you a great start of the year and a beautiful landscape.
The second full moon will occur during a lunar eclipse
All full moons of the year have a nickname given to them by the Algonquin tribes in New England, and this one is the Wolf Moon. However, in other cultures, it bears different names. For the Chinese, it is the Holiday Moon, while in the Southern Hemisphere it bears names related to summer. These are the Thunder Moon, Hay Moon, or Buck Moon.
Since the first full moon of January comes in the first day of the month, there’ll be plenty of time for a second one. This one is called a blue moon, and will represent one of the rare instances when two full moons fall within the same month. It will occur on January 31st, when it will also coincide with a lunar eclipse.
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