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Supermoon trilogy: Next two stages of 'blue,red moon' to appear on Jan 2018

The Full Moon on Sunday night marked the first and only supermoon of 2017. It appeared about seven per cent larger and 15 per cent brighter.

IANS  |  Washington 

A supermoon rises in front of a replica of the Statue of Liberty sitting atop the Liberty Building in downtown Buffalo, N.Y. Photo: Reuters
A supermoon rises in front of a replica of the Statue of Liberty sitting atop the Liberty Building in downtown Buffalo, N.Y. Photo: Reuters

If you missed Sunday's treat, take heart, it was the first of a trilogy of supermoons! The will reappear on the celestial stage on January 1 and 31, 2018, said.

A is a when it is also at its closest point to the on its

Since the Moon's is elliptical, one side (apogee) is about 50,000 km farther from the than the other (perigee).

The nearby perigee Full Moons appear about 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than Full Moons that occur near the apogee in the Moon's

"The supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the Moon, not just that once but every chance they have!" said Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre.

December's is traditionally known as the "cold moon".

The on Sunday night marked the first and only of 2017. It appeared about seven per cent larger and 15 per cent brighter.

The on January 31 will feature a total lunar eclipse, with totality viewable from across the pacific to Eastern Asia.

The will lose its brightness and take on an eerie, fainter-than-normal glow from the scant sunlight, giving it a reddish hue. Totally eclipsed Moons are for this reason called "blood Moons".

The January 31 will also be the second of the month, often referred to as the "Blue Moon", which happen every two and a half years, on average.

With the total eclipse, it will be a royal spectacle indeed, a "super blue blood" Moon, said.

 

First Published: Mon, December 04 2017. 14:04 IST
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