First Supermoon of 2018 Falls on January 1

The New Year is set for a bright beginning with the first supermoon of 2018 falling on Jan. 1. 

The first full moon of the year is a supermoon, according to NASA. A supermoon appears bigger and brighter than a full moon. According to NASA, what we call a supermoon is what astronomers would call a perigean full moon: a full moon occurring near or at the time when the moon is at its closest point in its orbit around Earth.

A supermoon can appear as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than when a full moon is at its farthest distance from Earth, NASA said.

The astronomical term for a supermoon is “perigee syzygy.” (Syzygy is when the sun, moon and Earth are all aligned in a straight line.)

If you aren’t feeling up to moongazing after New Year’s Eve, you’ll have a second chance to catch a supermoon at the end of January.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Mary Bowerman