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Astronomers are in for a celestial treat as the supermoon, the second of the so called ‘supermoon trilogy’, lights up the sky.
The first in the trilogy was seen on December 3 and now stargazers are ready for the second event.
And the supermoon on New Year’s Day will be the biggest and closest supermoon of 2018.
People living in the Western hemisphere will see the supermoon on January 1.
Due to the time difference, those living in the Eastern hemisphere will catch sight of the supermoon on January 2.
The third phenomenon is due to appear on January 31 and will be a blue moon.
Where will the moon be biggest?
The supermoon will be seen across the world and so long as there’s not too much cloud, the full moon will be an unmistakable white orb in the sky.
The Royal Observatory in Greenwich says sky watchers will be able to see the supermoon perfectly well with just your eyes – a small telescope or binoculars will allow you to see the moon’s detailed surface.
What time will the moon be biggest?
The supermoon will peak at 2.24am GMT on January 2, according to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.
At this point the moon will be perfectly lit up by the sun.
What is a supermoon?
A supermoon is a new or full moon which closely coincides with the moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit – its perigee.
The Royal Observatory in Greenwich said: “The distance between the Moon and the Earth varies because the Earth is not right at the centre of the Moon’s orbit, and the Moon’s orbit is not a circle, it’s an ellipse. So there will be a lunar perigee when the Moon is closest to the Earth, and a lunar apogee when it’s thousands of miles farther away.
“If the lunar perigee occurs very close to a full moon, then we see a supermoon. If a lunar apogee occurs very close to a full moon then we see a micromoon.
“The term supermoon originates from a concept in astrology, but has been adapted and given a strict definition within astronomy. If the Moon is within 10% of its closest distance at the moment of full moon, it is considered to be a supermoon.
“During a supermoon, the Moon appears up to 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than the furthest a full moon can be.”