Rabat - If you are a sky gazing lover, do not miss the opportunity to enjoy tonight’s supermoon. On Monday, January 1, the night sky will be graced with the first supermoon in 2018. 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual, the night spectacle is a sight to see.
Rabat – If you are a sky gazing lover, do not miss the opportunity to enjoy tonight’s supermoon. On Monday, January 1, the night sky will be graced with the first supermoon in 2018. 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual, the night spectacle is a sight to see.
This phenomenon happens when the moon is at its closest spot to earth, thus becoming more bigger and brighter in the sky.
This will be not the only supermoon of the month. The glowing show will be repeated on January 31. Dubbed “blue moon” for being the second full moon during the same month. This moon will look reddish, because it will cause a total lunar eclipse, also known as a Blood Moon, on the morning of January 31.
How Does it happen?
The distance of the moon varies each month between approximately 357,000 and 406,000 kilometers due to its elliptical orbit around the earth.
The moon needs two key elements to occur. First, it needs to be at its closest approach or perigee to the earth during its 27-day orbit. The moon also has to be full, a phenomenon that happens every 29.5 days when the sun fully illuminates the moon.
Supermoons occur only a few times per year. December 2017 was the only month when the supermoon occurred last year. 2018, however, is bringing more supermoons, with two occurring in the same month (January 1, January 31).
The supermoon word was first noted in 1979 in a magazine called Dell Horoscope. The article was written by astrologer Richard Nolle, who arbitrarily defined supermoons as “a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90 percent of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.”
The astrologer, however, did not explain his 90 percent theory. In short, supermoon for Nolle happens when all earth, moon, and sun are all in a direct line, with the moon in its nearest approach to earth.
Most visible supermoons in recent years
On September 27, 2015, the supermoon came in conjunction with a lunar eclipse “blood moon.” The moon glowed up with brownish-red due to the light, which was reflected from earth. The former supermoon eclipse that happened in the world occurred in 1982, while the next one is scheduled to take place in 2033.
In 2016, the earth witnessed three supermoons in a row during the three last months of the year. November 30’s supermoon was the closest supermoon, with A distance of 356,508 kilometers from earth. This supermoon was the closest full moon to earth in 69 years after that one of January 26, 1948, according to Space.com.