Look out for a Wolf Moon over Manchester this New Year

The new year will ring in with a pair of awesome celestial sights, with supermoons that will be visible on the first and last of January. It'll be the first of 2018 and it will be closely followed by another just weeks later. Three curious things might appear in the sky: a Blue Moon, a total eclipse of the moon and a Supermoon. The third will be the full moon on Wednesday, January 31.

Most days the moon is almost 238,855 miles from Earth, but during the supermoon it will be approximately 223,068 miles away, according to NASA. The first moon of the New Year, the wolf moon, is named after the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Since the Moon's orbital path is oval, one side is approximately 50,000 km far from the Earth. The flawless time to encounter the Full Moon Supermoon is after moonrise when it is just above the skyline.

The first month of 2018 is certain to delight moon lovers.

The supermoon will happen the evening of January 30.

And as a post by NASA on the "supermoon trilogy" explains, the January 31 supermoon will be definitely worth taking a look at. Since the moon has its own "month" - called a lunation - that lasts 29.5 days, these events take place about once every two and a half years, NASA explains. This is when the moon will also take on the characteristically orange-red color of a blood moon as it passes over the Midwest through the completion of the lunar eclipse.

So the moon won't be as bright, but it will "take on an eerie, fainter-than-normal glow", NASA says, and could take on a "reddish hue". The celestial event will be viewable in totality from western North America to Eastern Asia. Blood moons are a much creepier way to describe total lunar eclipses, which turn the astronomical body a vibrant crimson.

Viewers on the eastern side of the United States will be able to view a partial lunar eclipse during moonset on the morning of February 1. "Folks in the eastern United States, where the eclipse will be partial, will have to get up in the morning to see it", said Noah Petro, supervising research assistant at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

  • Essie Rivera