One of the most exciting events to kick-off the New Year is the appearance of two Supermoons in the sky on 1st and 31st January respectively. The Supermoon of 1st January was a ‘Full Wolf Moon,’ and the one appearing on 31st January shall be a ‘Super Blue Blood Moon.’ They are the second and the third Supermoons in the trilogy of Supermoons that started on 3rd December 2017.
A Supermoon is seen when a full moon is at its perigee (the closest point to the Earth), at which point the moon appears to be larger and brighter than a usual full moon. Since the lunar cycle occurs over a period of about 29.5 days and the time it takes for the moon to travel from perigee to perigee is about 27.3 days, it is a comparatively rare event for a full moon to occur at the perigee. But even so, this moon usually occurs at least once a year.
This full moon event of 1st January got its name from a Native American myth, according to which hungry wolves were said to howl at the moon during these January full moons. However, it is also argued that the name owes its origin to the Anglo-Saxon culture.
As far as lunar events go, however, the new moon to look forward to is the one occurring on January 31st. What makes this full moon event really special is that it will be a Blue Moon or the second full moon in a month, an event occurring once every 2.7 years; and this rare Blue Supermoon shall also partake in a lunar eclipse. In India, the total lunar eclipse shall take place for an hour and sixteen minutes, between 6:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. approximately. During this period of time, the full moon will be plunged into the shadow of the Earth and appears as a shade of dark red, giving it the name ‘Blood Moon.’ At its closest, the ‘Super Blue Blood Moon’ will be at a distance of approximately 358,994 kilometers from the Earth.