Check out the first Supermoon of the year tonight

Supermoon over Tampa, Waldo Carbo photo

Columbus (WFLA/WCMH) – A very cold night is expected tonight, and you may be able to catch a glimpse of the biggest supermoon of the year – and month.

Tonight we will have our first Supermoon of the year:

The January full moon is known as the “Wolf Moon” and it will be full tonight.

“While the moon will be ‘super’ on this first day of 2018, a thick deck of clouds will likely obscure the full effect of the moons size and brightness here in the Tampa Bay area,” Storm Team 8’s Chief Meteorologist Steve Jerve said.

The moon just like the Earth does not have a completely round orbit.  In fact, it is an elliptical orbit around the Earth, with an average distance from the Earth of about 238,000 miles.

However, in the orbit, the moon can get as close (perigee) as about  221,000 miles from the Earth, and as far (apogee) as a bit more than 252,000 miles from the Earth.

What is so “Super” about the moon tonight?

When the moon hits its close point (perigee) in its orbit around Earth at the same time as the full moon, this is when a “Supermoon” will occur.  The moon will be about 221,600 miles from the Earth tonight, which is about 500 miles closer than where the moon was (distance-wise) last month when we had our last full moon and super moon.

This is almost as close as the Supermoon back in November of 2016 when we were about 221,500 miles away. The next time we get that ‘super’ or close again will be in November of 2034.

What can I expect out of the Supermoon?

It will appear slightly bigger than a normal full moon, and it might appear to be significantly brighter than a full moon.  It will be a neat site to see if you can brave the extreme cold tonight.

What if I miss this Supermoon, how long will I have to wait for the next one?

The good news – you will not have to wait long at all. In fact, we have two full moons this month, and both of them will be Supermoons!

  • Tonight (before midnight)
  • January 31st (just after sunrise)

Also, the second full moon is extra special, as it is many times referred to as the “blue moon”. There will also be a total lunar eclipse that day as well. It will also serve as our last Supermoon of 2018.

Snap a great picture of the full cold Supermoon and share it with us on our WFLA News Channel 8 Facebook page.

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