The term supermoon denotes a new or full moon that occurs at roughly the same time the moon is nearest Earth in its monthly orbit. Astronomers use the term perigee to describe the moon’s closest point to Earth, from the Greek words peri meaning “near” and gee meaning “Earth.”

Our first supermoon of 2014 occurs on the very first day of the year. There will be a second supermoon on January 30.  We won’t have a single calendar month with two supermoons again until January 2018.

“Supermoon” is not a term from astronomy, but from astrology. The belief is that a supermoon has some kind of effect on people on Earth.  It certainly has the effect of high tides.

“Supermoon” is a term that was coined by Richard Nolle over 30 years ago, but it has become more popular in our Internet age.

2014 will have a total of five supermoons: the two new moons of January, and the full moons of July, August and September.

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