Okay, in at least 15 years. Tonight is the night that the moon will appear it’s biggest and fullest to those of us lucky enough to witness it without cloud cover.
According to NASA’s website:
It’s no illusion. Some full Moons are genuinely larger than others and this Friday’s is a whopper. Why? The Moon’s orbit is an ellipse with one side 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other: diagram. In the language of astronomy, the two extremes are called “apogee” (far away) and “perigee” (nearby). On Dec. 12th, the Moon becomes full a scant 4 hours after reaching perigee, making it 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser full Moons we’ve seen earlier in 2008.
I’ll translate that: Oooh. Pretty. WOW.
Also of note, the Geminids will be at their brightest this weekend, but the overly full moon just may overpower all by the brightest of these.
A great weekend for skywatchers, it seems. I have the perfect perch to watch the moon from my backyard or my front porch. Where are your favorite places in LA to watch the skies?