New Year’s Eve often prompts people to gaze into the sky, whether it be for a fireworks display or simply to watch the big ball drop in Times Square, but the night of January 1st, 2018, will give you another reason to look up. In a happy coincidence, New Year’s Day will feature a supermoon, which will appear bigger and brighter than a typical full moon.
A supermoon is the term given to full moons which occur at the same time as the moon reaches its closest point to Earth in orbit. When that happens, the moon seems larger in the sky and also significantly brighter than it normally does. Only the most seasoned skywatchers would actually be able to notice the difference — supermoons are only around 7% to 14% brighter than normal, which is a relatively small increase — but it’s still a great opportunity for skywatchers to snap some photos and bask in the brighter-than-usual glow.
The Wolf Moon will be at its peak at 9:24 p.m. EST. According to Time and Date, the moon will rise around 4:34 p.m. in the East-northeast corner of the sky. Since this moon is a supermoon, you won’t be able to miss it. It’s like when we get a food baby post-Christmas dinner, but are insanely content with the coma to come — the moon will be about 14 percent more bloated and about 30 percent more luminous. Quite the glow-up if you ask me.
When the moon becomes “super,” it simply means that it is closer to the Earth during its orbit. The planets and moon have orbits shaped something like an oval, and when the moon comes over the horizon line it’ll share the sky with the sun for just a bit before lighting up our world more than before.
Compared to 2016, when the year ended with three consecutive Supermoons in the months of October, November, and December — 2017 might feel a bit anticlimactic. However, December’s Supermoon will kick off a domino effect of its own: There are two more Supermoons on the way, both of which will occur in January 2018. There will be a full moon on New Year’s Day, and another at the very end of the month, on January 31. Because it is the