The skies were mostly clear in much of the Bitterroot Valley Sunday night, the last day of 2017. The sunset cast the Saapphire Mountains in a rosy shade as the nearly full moon rose into the eastern sky.

The first full moon of 2018 was January 2 and another full moon will happen January 31.

That leads to to the first interesting celestial event I can report in 2018. There will be no full moon in February this year.

The time between full moons is roughly a 29-day cycle. Since February is only 28 days long, a full moon on January 29, 30 or 31 would cause February to miss the full moon. With the full moon at the beginning of January, the next full moon is January 31.

February will come and go before the moon is full again. This only happens about every 19 years. That's fairly rare - only four times a century.

So, enjoy the full moon this week and the late January blue moon (2nd full moon in a month). Then, you'll be waiting until March for the next one.