Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Blue Moon Month January 2018 Opens New Year With Two Full Moons


Summary: Blue moon month January 2018 opens the new year with two full moons in the same month, with the second appearance known as blue.


Blue moon month January 2018 showcases two full moons that are supermoons, with the first rating as 2018's closest full moon and the second bestowing blueness upon the month and participating in 2018's first eclipse: Caribe Devine‏ @CaribeDevine via Twitter July 30, 2015

Blue moon month January 2018 opens the 18th new year of the 21st century with two full moons in the same month and derives blue moon status from the second full occurrence.
Two definitions of blue moon exist. A calendrical definition calls for the occurrence of two full moons within the same month. A seasonal definition identifies the third of four full moons within a single season of three months as a blue moon. January 2018’s second full moon owes its blueness to the calendrical definition.
The first full moon in blue moon month January 2018 reaches fullness Tuesday, Jan. 2, at 2:24 a.m. Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). For North America, fullness occurs Monday, Jan. 1. Variations in dates and times of fullness reflect Earth’s time zones. In reality, fullness takes place at the same instant everywhere.
The second full moon in January 2018 accords blue moon month status to the new year’s first month. January 2018’s blue moon marks entry into fullness Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 13:27 p.m. UTC. (8:27 a.m. Eastern Standard Time; 6:27 a.m. Pacific Standard Time).
Each of the two full moons in blue moon month January 2018 stands out with unique contributions, beyond blue moon month January 2018, to the new year. The Jan. 1-2 full moon claims status as the first full moon of the new year as well as of the new year’s opening month.
The first full moon of blue moon month January 2018 also is recognized as 2018’s closest full moon. The Jan. 1-2 full moon marks a center-to-center distance with Earth of 356,846 kilometers. Turning full only 4.5 hours after the new year’s maximum lunar perigee accounts for the Jan. 1-2 full moon’s status as 2018’s closest full moon.
Lunar perigee (Ancient Greek: περί, perí, “near” + γῆ, gê, “Earth”) signifies the closest center-to-center distance between Earth and moon. Astronomers note lunar perigee for each month as well as for each year. The closest center-to-center distance between Earth and moon occurs Monday, Jan. 1, at 21:54 p.m. UTC (4:54 p.m. EST; 1:54 p.m. PST).
Although the first full moon of blue moon month January 2018 shines as 2018’s closest full moon, the month’s second full moon shares in supermoon status. Credit for coining the term supermoon goes to astrologer Richard Nolle’s article in the October/November 2007 issue of the Mountain Astrologer. EarthSky lead writer Bruce McClure explains Nolle’s term as encompassing any new moon or full moon that has a center-to-center distance with Earth of less than 362,000 kilometers.
January 2018’s blue moon exceeds the month’s first full moon super closeness of 356,846 kilometers by 3,353 kilometers. The month’s second full moon registers a center-to-center distance of 360,199 kilometers.
Blue moon month January 2018’s two full moons participate in a trio of three successive full moon supermoons. The first full moon supermoon in the trio happened Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, at 15:47 UTC. December 2017’s full moon supermoon logged a center-to-center distance of 357,987 kilometers.
The second full moon of blue moon month January 2018 opens the year’s eclipse lineup of two total lunar and two partial solar eclipses. January 2018’s blue moon rates as marking the year’s first eclipse and also the year’s first lunar eclipse. The new year’s first eclipse begins Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 11:48 a.m. UTC (3:48 a.m. PST).
January 2018’s lunar eclipse begins while the moon is transitioning from its waxing gibbous phase into its full phase. Passage of the moon through Earth’s shadow precedes fullness by 1 hour 39 minutes.
Fullness, however, precedes greatest eclipse by three minutes. Greatest eclipse happens at 13:30 p.m. UTC (5:30 a.m. PST). Greatest eclipse references the instant of the moon’s closest passage with the axis of Earth’s shadow.
The takeaway for blue moon month January 2018 is the spectacle of lunar events happening within the new year’s first month. Two full moon supermoons increase their appeal with proximity to the new year’s closest lunar perigee as a month opener and with participation in a total lunar eclipse as a month closer.

Blue moon month January 2018 features two full moon supermoons that complete a trio of full moon supermoons initiated by 2017's solitary supermoon: Joanne Feldman FOX 5‏ @JoanneFOX5 via Twitter. Dec. 4, 2017

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.

Image credits:
"Friday's Blue Moon! Last time it happened: Aug 2012. Next blue moon: Jan 2018 #12news.": Caribe Devine‏ @CaribeDevine via Twitter July 30, 2015, @ https://twitter.com/CaribeDevine/status/626912015387262976
"A real treat to start 2018! The January 31st full moon is not only a "supermoon", but also a "blue moon" (2nd full moon in the same month)!": Joanne Feldman FOX 5‏ @JoanneFOX5 via Twitter Dec. 4, 2017, @ https://twitter.com/JoanneFOX5/status/937665428129828866

For further information:
Caribe Devine‏ @CaribeDevine. "Friday's Blue Moon! Last time it happened: Aug 2012. Next blue moon: Jan 2018 #12news." Twitter. July 30, 2015.
Available @ https://twitter.com/CaribeDevine/status/626912015387262976
Espenak, Fred. “2018 Phases of the Moon Eastern Standard Time.” AstroPixels > Ephemeris > Moon > Phases of the Moon From 2001 to 2100.
Available @ http://astropixels.com/ephemeris/astrocal/astrocal2018est.html
Espenak, Fred. "Enlargement of Earth's Shadow." NASA Eclipse Web Site > Lunar Eclipses > Special Interest.
Available @ https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEcat5/shadow.html
Espenak, Fred. “Moon at Perigee and Apogee: 2001 to 2100.” AstroPixels > Ephemeris > Moon > Perigee and Apogee.
Available @ http://astropixels.com/ephemeris/moon/moonperap2001.html
Espenak, Fred. “Total Lunar Eclipse of 2018 Jan 31.” NASA Eclipse Web Site > Lunar Eclipse Page > Lunar Eclipses 2011 – 2020.
Available @ https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEplot/LEplot2001/LE2018Jan31T.pdf
Hiscock, Philip. “Once in a Blue Moon.” Sky & Telescope > Observing > Types of Objects to Observe. Aug. 24, 2012.
Available @ http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/celestial-objects-to-watch/once-in-a-blue-moon/
“January 31, 2018 -- Total Lunar Eclipse.” Time And Date > Sun & Moon > Eclipses. <br />
Available @ https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2018-january-31
Joanne Feldman FOX 5‏ @JoanneFOX5. "A real treat to start 2018! The January 31st full moon is not only a "supermoon", but also a "blue moon" (2nd full moon in the same month)!" Twitter. Dec. 4, 2017.
Available @ https://twitter.com/JoanneFOX5/status/937665428129828866
Lafleur, Laurence J. Question-and-Answer Column. Sky and Telescope. July 1943: 17.
Available via Shop at Sky @ https://www.shopatsky.com/sky-telescope-july-1943-digital-issue
Marriner, Derdriu. "Blue Moon Month July 2015 Ends With Golden Full Moon and Meteor Shower." Earth and Space News. Thursday, July 30, 2015.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2015/07/blue-moon-month-july-2015-ends-with.html
Marriner, Derdriu. "Blue Moon Month July 2015 Opens With Full Moon Red From Wildfire Smoke." Earth and Space News. Monday, July 6, 2015.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2015/07/blue-moon-month-july-2015-opens-with.html
McClure, Bruce. “Supermoon on December 3.” EarthSky > Tonight. Dec. 3, 2017.
Available @ http://earthsky.org/tonight/full-supermoon-on-december-3
McClure, Bruce, and Deborah Byrd. “When Is the Next Blue Moon?” EarthSky > Astronomy Essentials. Dec. 1, 2017.
Available @ http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/when-is-the-next-blue-moon
McClure, Bruce, and Deborah Byrd. “When Is the Next Supermoon?” EarthSky > Human World / Space. Dec. 4, 2017.
Available @ http://earthsky.org/space/what-is-a-supermoon
Nolle, Richard. “The SuperMoon and Other Lunar Extremes.” The Mountain Astrologer (Oct/Nov 2007): 20-24.
Available @ http://www.mountainastrologer.com/oldfiles/Nolle1007.html
Nolle, Richard. “Supermoon: What It Is, What It Means.” Astropro > Features > Articles. Last updated March 22, 2011.
Available @ http://www.astropro.com/features/articles/supermoon/
Olson, Donald W., Richard Tresch Fienberg and Roger Sinnott. “What Is a Blue Moon?” Sky & Telescope > Observing > Types of Objects to Observe. July 27, 2006.
Available @ http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/celestial-objects-to-watch/what-is-a-blue-moon/
Pruett, James Hugh. “Once in a Blue Moon.” Sky and Telescope. March 1946: 3.
Available via Shop at Sky @ https://www.shopatsky.com/sky-and-telescope-march-1946-digital-issue

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