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Howl at a New Year's supermoon to start 2018 right

A rare celestial phenomenon will usher in another year by brightening up the night sky for one more night of celebrating.

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Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Eric Mack has been a CNET contributor since 2011. Eric and his family live 100% energy and water independent on his off-grid compound in the New Mexico desert. Eric uses his passion for writing about energy, renewables, science and climate to bring educational content to life on topics around the solar panel and deregulated energy industries. Eric helps consumers by demystifying solar, battery, renewable energy, energy choice concepts, and also reviews solar installers. Previously, Eric covered space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
Expertise Solar, solar storage, space, science, climate change, deregulated energy, DIY solar panels, DIY off-grid life projects. CNET's "Living off the Grid" series. https://www.cnet.com/feature/home/energy-and-utilities/living-off-the-grid/ Credentials
  • Finalist for the Nesta Tipping Point prize and a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Eric Mack
2 min read
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NASA/Bill Ingalls

Supermoon fans had to wait 11 whole months to glimpse the first and only instance of the phenomenon in 2017. There will be no such wait in 2018. The first supermoon of the year will help us all ring in the new year Jan. 1.

A quick primer for the uninitiated: A supermoon occurs when the moon is at its closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit, or perigee, at the same time that it's full. The next time this will occur is Monday evening.

While supermoon fanatics and photographers often marvel at the size of the supermoon, it rarely appears to be any more than 15 percent larger in the sky. But it still makes for some worthwhile viewing.

The only supermoon of 2017, as seen worldwide

See all photos

Some Native American tribes refer to the January full moon as the "wolf moon," according to the Farmer's Almanac, so there are apparently plenty of reasons to howl at this supermoon.

If the lunar party gets rained out in your location, don't fear. There will be another opportunity before this month is even out. The next supermoon is Jan. 31, and it'll also be a rare blue moon (a fancy name that just means the second full moon of a calendar month). 

There's also the option to watch live coverage of the supermoon online with commentary from the Slooh Observatory, or even earlier on New Year's Day from the Italy-based Virtual Telescope Project.

As always, if you catch any epic photos of the supermoon, please tweet them my way at @EricCMack.

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