Big Full Moon Tonight, and Mars Too

THIS is off-topic, but there’s no news about The Controversy today. At the National Graphic website we read Tonight: Year’s Biggest Full Moon, Mars Create Sky Show. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

The biggest full moon of 2010 will rise in the east tonight, and it’ll appear with a bright sidekick: Mars will cozy up just to the left of the supersize moon.

Not only that, but this phenomenon has a name:

January’s full moon is also called the wolf moon, according to Native American tradition associating this month’s full moon with wolves howling in the cold midwinter.

Well! This has nothing to do with evolution and creationism (unless you change into a wolf tonight), but it’s timely news. Let’s read on:

The 2010 wolf moon will appear 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than any other full moon this year, because our cosmic neighbor will actually be closer to Earth than usual.

[...]

“This month has the largest full moon of 2010, because it coincides with the special moment when the full moon happens to occur on the same day as it is at perigee,” said Marc Jobin, an astronomer at the Montréal Planetarium.

But wait — there’s more:

And in a remarkable coincidence, Mars is at opposition tonight — directly opposite to the sun in the sky — so that as the sun sets in the southwest, Mars rises in the northeast.

Around opposition, the red planet gets closest to Earth. This year Mars swung by at just 61 million miles (98 million kilometers) on January 27, and it will still appear remarkably bright during tonight’s sky show.

“To the naked eye it will appear as a bright, orange-colored star right next to the full moon — the pair will jump out at you for sure,” Jobin said.

There’s more in the article, so click over there to read it all; but we’ve already given you enough incentive to get out there tonight to watch the show.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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5 responses to “Big Full Moon Tonight, and Mars Too

  1. A full moon and Mars! The lunatics should be in fine fettle tonight.

  2. RogerE says: “The lunatics should be in fine fettle tonight.”

    I omitted information about Uranus. They couldn’t find it anyway.

  3. Actually, the show was last night, but tonight will be almost as good.

  4. Longie, are you saying that I blew it?

  5. Ahhh, well — I report; you decide:

    The biggest full moon of 2010 will rise in the east Friday night, and it’ll appear with a bright sidekick: Mars will cozy up just to the left of the supersize moon.

    Friday was the 29th of January. You posted the article on Saturday, the 30th of January.

    Off by one day — good enough for government work?
    ;-)

    (That said, they were both up there in the sky Saturday night just as they were Friday night — they just weren’t as close to each other as they were on Friday…..)