Supermoons, meteor shower to light up the sky this January

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 2) — Prepare your telescopes as the cosmos has a lot in store for us this January.

From two supermoons, a meteor shower to a lunar eclipse, here's a list of astronomical events for the first month of 2018.


January 2: Supermoon

A supermoon occurs when the moon becomes full on the same day it reaches its perigee- or the point the moon is closest to the Earth.

This makes the moon appears a lot bigger and brighter compared to a normal full moon.

According to the Space Sciences and Astronomy Section of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), today's supermoon was visible at 10:24 a.m.

Since it will not be seen anymore tonight, don't worry:  another supermoon awaits at the end of the month.

January 4: Quadrantid Meteor Shower

At least 40 meteors per hour will be visible from January 3 to 4 - the peak of the Quadrantid Meteor Shower.

PAGASA said the "incinerated dust are said to be particles apparently derived from the debris ejected by the near-Earth asteroid 2003 EH."

The meteor shower will appear to come from the constellation of Bootes and will be active from January 1 to 7.


January 15: Moon Apogee

Apogee is the opposite of perigee - meaning the moon is at its farthest from the Earth.

On January 15, the moon is estimated to be 406,423 kilometers away.

January 30: Supermoon

The second perigee of the moon will be at 5:54 p.m. on January 30, according to PAGASA.

January 31: Lunar eclipse, blue moon

Prepare your binoculars, as a total lunar eclipse will occur on January 31, and it will be visible in the Philippines.

PAGASA said the eclipse will begin at 6:49 p.m. and end at 12:09 a.m. on February 1.

It added there is no need for any protective filters for the eyes as lunar eclipses, unlike solar eclipses, are safe to watch. You may want to bring out your binoculars or telescopes to help magnify the view.

Aside from the lunar eclipse, there will also be a second full moon - also known as a blue moon - on January 31.

Don't expect a blue color, though, the event has nothing to with the color of the moon. 

PAGASA, however, said the moon appearing with a tinge of blue, may occur in certain atmospheric conditions like during volcanic eruptions or when exceptionally large fires leave particles in the atmosphere.

CNN Philippines digital producer Yvette Morales and senior researcher Ella Hermonio contributed to this report.