As we reflect on 2017 and prepare for 2018, may you and yours have a wonderful and safe 2018 New Year’s Eve celebration.
As the new year begins, we will be treated to cold temperatures but clear skies. Stealing the show for the first sunset of 2018 will be the rising full wolf super moon which occurs at about 5 p.m. in the east.
This will be the largest and brightest Full Moon for the entire year as it will be only four hours from its closest approach to Earth for all of 2018. To experienced moon watchers, the moon may appear brighter and a bit larger than other full moons.
The moon will be at full phase (directly opposite the sun) at 9:24 p.m. EST and at perigee as it is rising (closest to the Earth for the month) at 5 p.m. EST — less than 24 hours apart, hence the Supermoon.
This time of year will also make this supermoon brighter as explained by NASA, ”because the Earth will be at its closest to the sun (called perihelion) in early January (Jan. 3 at 1 a.m. EST), the sunlight reaching and reflecting off the moon this time of year is about 7 percent more intense (than at the farthest point from the sun, aphelion, in early July), making wintertime supermoons even brighter.”
Go out Sunday night and enjoy the almost full wolf super moon. We will have another super moon in January — the second being a blue moon — that will also undergo a total lunar eclipse.