Space Awareness

10 Things to Know About the Second Full Moon in January 2018

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team


You may have heard that a very special Moon is going to be in the night sky next week. What makes this Moon so special? Here are 10 things you need to know about the second full Moon in January 2018!


  1. The full Moon occurring on Jan. 31, 2018, will be a blue Moon. The Moon will not be blue in color, however. A blue Moon is defined as the second full Moon in a calendar month. The first full Moon of January occurred on the first.
  2. Blue Moons occur about every two-and-a-half years.
  3. There will be a total lunar eclipse during the full Moon.
  4. The total lunar eclipse will turn this blue Moon a reddish color. The red color we will see on the Moon is created by the Earth’s atmosphere, as red light from the sun passes our atmosphere, it is bent and our atmosphere acts as a lens, giving off a blood-red color during a total lunar eclipse.
  5. It is perfectly safe to look directly at the Moon during a total solar eclipse, but always remember, it is NEVER safe to look directly at the sun.
  6. This full Moon is considered a supermoon, which occurs when a full Moon coincides with perigee, the point in the Moon’s orbit where it is closest to Earth.
  7. When the Moon is in perigee, it can appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter
  8. The Moon’s average distance from Earth is 238,855 miles, but during this super, eclipsed, blood, blue Moon – it will only be about 223,068 miles away.
  9. According to, the last time a blue Moon total solar eclipse occurred in the United States was in March 1866.
  10. In Denver, Colo., totality begins at 5:51 a.m. Mountain Standard Time, and ends at 07:07 a.m., as the Moon sets and the sun rises.