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Wolf Moon rises over frozen Mille Lacs Lake

The Wolf Moon rises Monday over frozen Mille Lacs Lake in Garrison Bay. Steve Kohls / Forum News Service

The Wolf Moon rises Monday, Jan. 1, over frozen Garrison Bay of Minnesota's Mille Lacs Lake in Garrison Bay.

The first moon of the year is closer to Earth and appears larger and brighter. The Wolf Moon is the Native American traditional name for the first full moon in January.

The first full moon of the year is a supermoon, according to NASA. A supermoon appears bigger and brighter than a full moon. NASA says a supermoon is what astronomers would call a perigean full moon: a full moon occurring near or at the time when the moon is at its closest point in its orbit around Earth, the USA Today reported.

A supermoon can appear as much as 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than when a full moon is at its farthest distance from Earth, NASA stated.

The astronomical term for a supermoon is "perigee syzygy." (Syzygy is when the sun, moon and Earth are all aligned in a straight line.) There will be a second chance to catch a supermoon at the end of January.

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