Something will happen this month that is very rare. As January 2014 comes to a close we will experience two supermoons in one month – and not two Full supermoons but two New supermoons. But what is a supermoon and when will we ever have two in one month again?
The term “supermoon” didn’t come from astronomy. The term was actually coined by Richard Nolle who defined this occurrence as when the moon is either full or new and is at 90% of its closest approach to Earth. This means the moon has to come within 224,851 miles of the Earth to be considered a supermoon. Astronomers used to call this perigree new moons or perigree full moons. However, the term “supermoon” has gained popularity over the past few years even though it first came into use some 30 years ago.
The year 2014 will give us a total of 5 supermoons: 2 new supermoons in January, and the three in July, August, and September. But we won’t see another occurrence of having two supermoons in one month until January 2018.