Dubai: Stargazers in the UAE were in for a treat in December 2017 when they caught a glimpse of the "supermoon", a phenomenon that occurs when the Moon appears bigger and brighter in the sky as it moves closer to Earth.
Also called a Cold Moon, Moon Before Yule, or Long Night Moon, December's supermoon was the only one in 2017.
January 1 and 2 across the world will witness the second one of the series, which is usually also the largest one.
When is this happening?
January 2 has been pegged as the day the supermoon will rise, when the moon gets as close as it could to the earth in its orbit. It comes close enough to Earth (222,443 miles or 357,987 km minimum) to enjoy super moon status.
The moon rising (at around 6.13pm) on January 2 in the UAE will be at a distance of 356,570 kms at its peak, which officially makes it a supermoon.
It is expected to have 99.8 per cent illumination bringing the brightest moon light of the year as well.
The moon becomes full across the world at 2.24 (UTC) on January 2.
What is a supermoon?
The astrologer Richard Nolle, who is credited with coining the term, defines a super moon as a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90 per cent of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.
Basically, the moon will look the largest and closest you might have ever seen it. This happens because the moon's orbit around the earth is elliptical, having both nearest and farthest points of orbit distance from the earth.
In 2016, the Moon made its closest approach to Earth since 1948. It won't be that close again until November 25, 2034.