Posts Tagged ‘Full Moon’

Check Out Tonight’s Full Moon

January 29, 2010

Apogee Moon, Perigee Moon Credit & Copyright: Anthony Ayiomamitis

Tonight’s full moon will be the biggest and the brightest of the year.  It is 14% wider and 30% brighter than other full moons.

Because the Moon’s orbit around the Earth is an ellipse instead of a circle, it is 50,000 kilometers closer on one side of the orbit than the other.  Tonight’s full moon will be at perigee, or the closest part of the orbit.

As the sun sets, the full moon rises in the east.  Adding to the bright, perigee Moon is the optical illusion that the Moon looks extra large when it’s near the horizon.  It’s a phenomenon that isn’t understood.  [Figure out why, name the effect after yourself, and your name will be a trivia answer.]

As an added bonus, the full moon will be accompanied by a very bright, orange Mars.

Hope for cloudless skies and enjoy the view.


Today’s Full Moon

March 21, 2008

Today’s full moon is a special one. It’s the full moon that determines the date of Easter. At 11:41 today, the moon will be full and the fancy formula for Easter goes into effect. Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. The equinox was March 20, 2008. Today is the full moon. And Sunday, it will be Easter.

Does Easter seem early this year? It should. Based on the information in an e-mail that I received–Easter can only be one day earlier and hasn’t been this early since 1913 and won’t be this early again until 2228.

Here is the e-mail:

Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar. This year, Easter will fall on March 23.

Based on the above, Easter can actually be one day earlier (March 22) but that is pretty rare. This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives…and only the most elderly of our population (95 years old or above) have ever seen it this early before. None of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier.

The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228, 220 years from now). The last time it was this earl y was 1913 (so if you’re 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that).

The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818.

So Happy Pascal Moon today!