Astrology fans have been treated to a sparkling start to the New Year, with two rare moons visible in January alone.

This year began with a stunning super moon on the night of January 1 - and stargazers don't have long to wait before the next one.

Experts in NASA say the next super moon will be lighting up the sky on the evening of January 31.

And because it's the second full moon in the same calendar month, it becomes a "blue moon," which occurs only once every few years.

Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA, said: "The supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the moon, not just once but every chance they have."

The supermoon will be visible on the night of January 31 and February 1 at around 2am in the morning.

The super moon will appear bigger and brighter than usual

What is a supermoon?

A supermoon usually takes place every one to two years, when the full moon coincides with its closest point to Earth during its monthly orbit.

Because the moon has an elliptical orbit, one side - called the perigee - is about 48,280km closer to Earth than the other side, the apogee.

When the sun, the moon and Earth line up, it's known as a syzygy. When this happens when the perigee side of the moon faces Earth, it is known as a perigee-syzygy, which causes the moon to appear much bigger and brighter than usual.

What is a blue moon?

It's the rare moment when a second full moon appears during one calendar month, although its traditional meaning is slightly different.

A lunar month lasts about 29.5 days, whilst human months last anything between 28 and 31 days.

Occasionally, this means that a full moon can be seen twice in a month - which is referred to as a blue moon.

There's going to be a supermoon tonight
The last supermoon was on Monday, January 1

Is there anything special about the January 31 supermoon?

Yes, as well as being a supermoon, the January 31 moon will also enjoy a lunar eclipse.

"The moon's orbit around our planet is tilted so it usually falls above or below the shadow of the Earth," explained NASA.

"About twice each year, a full moon lines up perfectly with the Earth and sun such that Earth’s shadow totally blocks the sun's light, which would normally reflect off the moon."

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As dedicated stargazers will tell you, this is the first time the UK has experienced a blue moon lunar eclipse in 150 years.

"The moon will lose its brightness and take on an eerie, fainter-than-normal glow from the scant sunlight that makes its way through Earth’s atmosphere," the space agency said.

"Often cast in a reddish hue because of the way the atmosphere bends the light, totally eclipsed Moons are sometimes called 'blood moons'."

So it turns out that the next supermoon in 2018 will actually be a super-blue-blood-moon.

How to get the best picture?

  • Stay away from bright lights
  • Try and pick a spot marked by interesting buildings or trees so the moon shows up in comparison
  • Keep the flash off
  • If you're using your phone use your finger to focus the camera on where the moon is
  • The moon is actually moving so for a clear picture use an app that has a quick shutter speed
  • Tripods, zoom lenses and all the extra bits aren't really needed but will help keep you steady and get a better close-up

You can share your best photos with us by messaging us on the Burton Mail Facebook page or by emailing editorial@burtonmail.co.uk.