Super Wolf Moon Today, the 1st of January

Super Wolf Moon Today, the 1st of January

A Supermoon will be visible today around the world. Send us your photos from wherever you are for an OCC Wolf Supermoon Gallery!

By Daria Blackwell - 01/01/2018

If you are out and about on a starry night tonight, look up at the moon, our first full moon of the year, which is nicknamed a Wolf Moon. It happens to fall on the New Year's night between 1st and 2nd of January 2018 this time. This year, the Wolf Moon is also a Supermoon. A Supermoon happens when a Full Moon or New Moon is near the Moon's closest approach to Earth, called perigee. The moon’s orbit around Earth is elliptical. As the moon follows this orbit, it’s sometimes closer to the Earth and sometimes farther away. At perigee, the closest spot to Earth in its orbit, the moon is about 31,068 miles closer to Earth than at apogee, when it is farthest away. A Super Full Moon looks up to 7% bigger than an average Full Moon and 12% to 14% bigger and 30% brighter than its counterpart, the Micromoon.

If local weather conditions allow, the best time to see it is on the night of January 1-2. The moon becomes full at 9:24 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) (8:24 Central, 7:24 Mountain, 6:24 Pacific, 0224 GMT Tuesday Jan. 2). That peak comes hours after the moon reaches perigee, its closest point to Earth for the month, at 4:54 p.m. EST (2154 GMT). Time differences between the Eastern and Western hemisphere mean that viewers in the UK will have to wait until January 2. But once it rises in the night sky, British stargazers should be prepared to see the Supermoon peak at around 2:24 am GMT, according to Royal Observatory Greenwich.

The New Year's Day Supermoon will light up snow covering much of the northern half of the United States and Canada, making for spectacular photography conditions. Photographing the Supermoon is most dramatic as it rises. Any time you catch a Supermoon as it rises or sets, while it's suspended low on the horizon beaming through the silhouettes of trees, people or buildings, its apparent size is accentuated. When it is high in the night sky, it is more difficult for the eye and the lens to distinguish the differences. We know the best place to see natural phenomena in the sky is out at sea or in remote areas where there is little light pollution. OCC members on the move have an advantage in that regard.

Later this month, on the 31st of January, we will be privileged to see a Blue Moon, so-called as it is the second Full Moon in a month. But wait. It's also a Supermoon and, on this Full Moon night, there will be a total lunar eclipse in some areas, including most of North America, Asia, Australia, and more. A totally eclipsed moon usually appears red, so this may be a rare opportunity to see a red Blue Moon.

Don't forget that a Supermoon also affects tidal variation. Be sure to set out sufficient scope and anchor in sufficient depth to account for the extreme spring tides.

Send your photos to PR @ (leave out the spaces).

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