2014 Supermoon Dates: Two New Moons Coming in January

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By Karla Danica Figuerres | December 31, 2013 1:31 AM EST

As the year 2014 enters, five supermoon dates are expected and the first one will be on January 1. January 1 will have the first new moon of the month before another one, which will be on January 30 making January 2014 the only month with two supermoons until January 2018 according to EarthSky.

What is a supermoon? Basically, a supermoon is when the moon makes its closest approach to Earth in its orbit than usual, which is seen clearly when there's full moon.

"So, the moon may seem bigger although the difference in its distance from Earth is only a few per cent at such times," Dr. James Garvin said on the space agency's website, a chief scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre. "It is called a supermoon because this is a very noticeable alignment that at first glance would seem to have an effect. The 'super' in supermoon is really just the appearance of being closer."

According to EarthSky, because of the closeness of the supermoon to the Earth, it can appear "as much as 14% larger in the sky and 30% brighter to our eyes than at minimum size and brightness,"

Supermoon commonly does not impact much, but it can still bring higher tides than usual.

EarthSky also reported that the word supermoon was first used by astrologer Richard Nolle over 30 years ago and is now popular again. Nolle stated that a supermoon is "a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit." 

This usually means that in average, there are four to six supermoons per year.

The other supermoons in 2014 will occur on July 12, August 10, and September 9.

While on August 10, the moon will be closest to the Earth.

Perigee full moon or perigee new moon was the former name of supermoon before it became supermoon. Perigee literally means "near Earth."

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