Wednesday’s Blue Supermoon Eclipse, Ceres is Here, and Pre-dawn Planets Persist!

Video shot via Star Walk iOS and Android
(Above: Here, the January 31, 2018 total lunar eclipse is modelled using an app called Solar Walk 2. The software is available in both iOS and Android)
(Above: Due to the moon’s elliptical orbit, its distance from Earth varies by about 12%, bringing it closer (perigee) and farther (apogee) during every 27.3 day circuit of Earth. The moon runs through its phases on a separate cycle of 29.5 days. From time to time, the two cycles synchronize for a few months, allowing the moon to be full while near perigee, causing it to be up to 30% brighter and 7% larger than average. The three full moons in December, 2017 and January, 2018 are all supermoons. NASA images)
(Above: The minor planet Ceres reaches its closest and brightest for the year this week. Shown here at 8 pm local time on Sunday, January 28, it will be located above Leo’s head. From now until July, it will veer higher and then descend towards Algieba. Image via Star Walk iOS and Android)
Above: the morning planets Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn shown at 6:30 AM local time this week. Image via Star Walk iOS and Android

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