Super 'Wolf Moon' to enlighten New Year Eve's Sky

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January 31's supermoon will also be special as it will be a "blue moon", or the second full moon in one month, making it a rare "super blue blood moon", according to NASA.

On Monday, the moon will be near its closest point in its orbit around the Earth, which makes it appear fuller and brighter.

Moonrise time for Southeast Michigan is around 5:07 p.m. on New Year's Day, with West Michigan and the U.P. seeing it closer to 5:15 p.m. To fool yourself into thinking that you're viewing the largest possible supermoon, the best place to be is as sea level with clear skies.

The first of the two supermoons will appear in the sky on New Year's Day, and the second one will be glowing on January 31.

Janis Grummitt's shot of the supermoon over Matakana
JANIS GRUMMITT Janis Grummitt's shot of the supermoon over Matakana

But the January 31 supermoon will be really special because it will feature a total lunar eclipse. You'll remember the 1st of the trilogy was a few weeks back on December 3rd.

"The supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the moon, not just that once but every chance they have!" said Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in a press release.

Here's how staff at the US space program are explaining the science behind the show that should create a "super blue blood moon".

"The Earth has stored a tremendous amount of internal energy within its thin outer shell or crust, and the small differences in the tidal forces exerted by the moon (and sun) are not enough to fundamentally overcome the much larger forces within the planet due to convection (and other aspects of the internal energy balance that drives plate tectonics)", NASA says. The moon will appear to be red, and is nicknamed a blood moon, because it lines up perfectly with the Earth and sun such that the Earth's shadow totally blocks the sun's light. The full moon after December 22nd gets its name from wolves howling during this time of year near Native American tribes, wanting food during scarce times in the dead cold of winter. That's why these moons are called "blood Moons".

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