CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — 2018 is starting off big and bright, as the sky will play host to a “supermoon” Monday night.
On this first day of the New Year, the January full moon will arrive at perigee, its closest point to Earth in an orbit. Monday, our lunar companion reaches an extreme perigee distance of 221,559 miles. When these events coincide (a full moon at perigee), some people refer to the event as a “supermoon.”
NASA, however, is calling this first full moon of 2018 a “wolf moon.”
“The wolf moon is given because you often hear wolves howling at the moon, especially during the winter time,” Michelle Nichols-Yehling said, who works at the Adler Planetarium.
Nichols-Yehling says a supermoon appears 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter.
“As long as it’s clear out, you’ll have no trouble seeing the moon at all,” she said.
This will be the “biggest full moon of 2018.”
Another reason you’ll want to be looking up occurs later this month. January 31st will see a total lunar eclipse, which will be best visible on the west coast.