Super moon makes it's presence felt in Mumbai on first day of new year

Updated: Jan 02, 2018, 11:28 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

As the New Year gets rolling, the first full moon of 2018 made its appearance yesterday

A supermoon is a full moon that appears 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter. Pic/Sneha Kharabe
A supermoon is a full moon that appears 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter. Pic/Sneha Kharabe

As the New Year gets rolling, the first full moon of 2018 made its appearance yesterday. The view was all the more fascinating, as this time it was also a supermoon (the one that occurs when the moon is closest to the Earth and appears 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter).

Watch out for that moonset
Speaking to mid-day, Arvind Paranjpye, director, Nehru Planetarium, said, "The moon reached its perigee at 3.34 am on January 2, its distance from the Earth 3,56,565 km and it 99.9 per cent illuminated. The Full Moon phase will occur 4.5 hours later at 7.54 am. At that time, the distance of the moon from the Earth will be 3,56,846 km."

Paranjpye further said the best time to watch the supermoon (or for that matter any full moon) is when it rises and sets. "Normally, we are used to seeing the full moon rising above the eastern horizon, but this time it will be best to watch it setting over the western horizon early in the morning," he explained.

Supermoon Zero Shadow
Paranjpye further said the light of the full moon is bright enough to cast a shadow. "On the night of January 1, those living close to the 20-degree latitude would have seen the shadows of vertical objects disappear for a while, as the moon passed from overhead. This is called a Supermoon Zero Shadow," he said.

Some of the places that are close to the 20-degree latitude are Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Bhawanipatana, Bhadravati, Chandrapur, Pusad, Jalna, Aurangabad, Nashik, Raipur, Durg, Nagpur, Yavatmal, Amravati, Bhusawal, Beed, Ahmednagar, Pune, Mumbai and Surat.

Once in a Blue Moon
People will also be able to witness the total lunar eclipse on January 31. This will be the second full moon in a month, also called the Blue Moon. The last supermoon was the full moon of December 3, 2017. It could not be seen well from Mumbai as the sky was overcast.

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