Biggest full moon of 2010!

You’re not losing your mind if you think the moon looks unusually large tonight. In fact, it is the brightest and biggest to be seen in more than a decade!

Each month, the moon makes a full orbit around the Earth in an oval path (not completely circular). Tonight, it will go by Earth at its closest distance, or perigree. Don’t worry, it’s not going to crash into us. It will be about 221,600 miles away (slightly more than the mileage on my six year old car). closer than average. However, this distance is about 17000 miles closer than average! Cool, huh?

So, I write all this about a full moon only to tell you that there’s no such thing as a full moon. If you’d like to read more about that, click here!

If you’re wondering, this full moon will cause abnormally high tides too!


Posted under space, weather

This post was written by qni_it on January 29, 2010

6 Comments so far

  1. WI Weather Buff January 29, 2010 11:44 PM

    Wow, NO KIDDING!

    I just spent an hour driving in the dark and marveling at the moon — didn’t notice that it seemed “bigger” but BRIGHTER than usual. The snowpack helps because it reflects the moonlight– WOW! Completely awesome (especially out in the country, away from city lights). You can see clear across large fields and see any wildlife in the fields all just from the moonlight.

  2. Justin January 30, 2010 5:47 AM


  3. David C February 1, 2010 6:26 PM

    I did see the huge moon last night, it was blood red for about ten minutes, which I have never seen before. Seeing this actually sparked a little debate between my 7th grader and I, and was wondering if anyone had any other insight. Now we all know the gameshow, Are you Smarter than a 5th grader, and that’s exactly what I felt like here… Was this considered a lunar eclipse or just called the moons’ “pedigree”? My son said it was a lunar eclipse and I didn’t think that was correct, so I respectfully disagreed. I searched all over and didn’t find any info on this except for blog. Can anyone clarify if this was an actual Lunar eclispe?

  4. Eric Sorensen February 1, 2010 7:23 PM

    David: There wasn’t an eclipse with this go around which means that the color was simply an effect of the earth’s atmosphere bending the light to form the color red. The perigree (or size) is just because the moon doesn’t have a complete circular orbit around the Earth.

  5. David C February 1, 2010 8:02 PM

    Thanks for the response Eric, I will gladly show my son your reply and help reinforce the effects we saw last night. If you know how teenagers are, this will be rather humbling for a typical teen-age know-it-all. 🙂

  6. quick loans August 28, 2010 2:29 PM

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