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From The Times, December 12, 2008. See the real article here:

Look up tonight for a spectacular treat in the sky - Times Online

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Look up tonight for a spectacular treat in the sky
Biggest full moon for years enhanced by shooting stars

Paul Simons

If the full moon tonight looks unusually large, it is not your imagination – it is the biggest and brightest full moon to be seen for 15 years.

Each month the Moon makes a full orbit around the Earth in a slightly oval-shaped path, and tonight it will swing by the Earth at its closest distance, or perigee. It will pass by 356,613km (221,595 miles) away, which is about 28,000km closer than average.

The unusual feature of tonight is that the perigee also coincides with a full moon, which will make it appear 14 per cent bigger and some 30 per cent brighter than most full moons this year – so long as the clouds hold off from blocking the view.

The next closest encounter with a full moon this large will not be until November 14, 2016.

In addition to this lunar flypast, much of Britain may also be treated to a strange phenomenon known as the moon illusion. As the Moon rises in the late afternoon, it will appear even larger as it lies close to the horizon. Psychologists have tried to explain this as a trick of the eye, as the landscape on the horizon appears to make the Moon loom much larger, an effect that disappears as the Moon rises above the horizon, although viewing it through a tube, such as a toilet roll, can make it look large again.

With the Moon approaching so close to the Earth, its gravity will pull a slightly higher tide than normal for a full moon. This so-called perigeal tide adds about 0.5m (1.6ft) to the high-water mark, and with freshening southwesterly winds forecast, this may cause some flooding, especially along parts of the South West coast.

Tonight’s full moon is also notable for rising to its greatest height in the night sky for the entire year, lying almost overhead at midnight. This is because we are approaching the winter solstice, on December 21, and thanks to the tilt of the Earth the Moon appears at its highest, as the Sun is at its lowest.

Another astronomical treat that could be seen tonight and for the next two nights is the annual Geminid meteor shower, one of the year’s best displays of shooting stars. Up to 100 meteors an hour can fly across the sky. The meteors, which are easy to spot with the naked eye, appear to shoot out from the constellation Gemini, hence their name, but they can be seen all over the sky. However, with a full moon so bright, the best place to look is away from the Moon.

Meteor showers happen when the Earth passes through clouds of debris shed from comets. As the tiny fragments smash into the Earth’s upper atmosphere at about 100,000mph, they burn up in streaks of light.

For reasons that are not understood, the Geminid meteor showers are tending to grow stronger each year.
 

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Telstar 28
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Of course, it won't be much use up here in New England, since we'll probably be under fairly heavy cloud cover for it. :(

As for the Geminids... they're aiming for us... just you watch... the aliens have slowly been moving the aiming point closer to the center of earth... and soon a really big one will take the planet out... the little grey guys are behind it...



From The Times, December 12, 2008. See the real article here:

Look up tonight for a spectacular treat in the sky - Times Online

---------------------
Look up tonight for a spectacular treat in the sky
Biggest full moon for years enhanced by shooting stars

Paul Simons

If the full moon tonight looks unusually large, it is not your imagination – it is the biggest and brightest full moon to be seen for 15 years.

Each month the Moon makes a full orbit around the Earth in a slightly oval-shaped path, and tonight it will swing by the Earth at its closest distance, or perigee. It will pass by 356,613km (221,595 miles) away, which is about 28,000km closer than average.

The unusual feature of tonight is that the perigee also coincides with a full moon, which will make it appear 14 per cent bigger and some 30 per cent brighter than most full moons this year – so long as the clouds hold off from blocking the view.

The next closest encounter with a full moon this large will not be until November 14, 2016.

In addition to this lunar flypast, much of Britain may also be treated to a strange phenomenon known as the moon illusion. As the Moon rises in the late afternoon, it will appear even larger as it lies close to the horizon. Psychologists have tried to explain this as a trick of the eye, as the landscape on the horizon appears to make the Moon loom much larger, an effect that disappears as the Moon rises above the horizon, although viewing it through a tube, such as a toilet roll, can make it look large again.

With the Moon approaching so close to the Earth, its gravity will pull a slightly higher tide than normal for a full moon. This so-called perigeal tide adds about 0.5m (1.6ft) to the high-water mark, and with freshening southwesterly winds forecast, this may cause some flooding, especially along parts of the South West coast.

Tonight’s full moon is also notable for rising to its greatest height in the night sky for the entire year, lying almost overhead at midnight. This is because we are approaching the winter solstice, on December 21, and thanks to the tilt of the Earth the Moon appears at its highest, as the Sun is at its lowest.

Another astronomical treat that could be seen tonight and for the next two nights is the annual Geminid meteor shower, one of the year’s best displays of shooting stars. Up to 100 meteors an hour can fly across the sky. The meteors, which are easy to spot with the naked eye, appear to shoot out from the constellation Gemini, hence their name, but they can be seen all over the sky. However, with a full moon so bright, the best place to look is away from the Moon.

Meteor showers happen when the Earth passes through clouds of debris shed from comets. As the tiny fragments smash into the Earth’s upper atmosphere at about 100,000mph, they burn up in streaks of light.

For reasons that are not understood, the Geminid meteor showers are tending to grow stronger each year.
 

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I just had a look...a short one because it is -7C outside...and it is noticeably brighter and the surface features are very clear.

Thanks for the post. My seven year old boy was impressed.
 

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That was amazing!
Thank you.
 

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Just now took a peek...crystal clear here...amazing. The temp. is dropping fast....48 deg. f! :D Sorry, it's a character flaw!:D :laugher
 

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Aeolus II
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Early this evening (about pm) I noticed this!

As I was driving downtown I caught a glimpse of the full moon and thought it looked very large. It was a brief encounter as it quickly slipped behind clouds. This comes after one of the largest rain storms this fall...
 

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Glad I found Sailnet
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i didnt see any of those flying shooting star things you speak of
The best way to see them is to lie down on the deck of your boat and stare straight up for 15 minutes. Chances are you'll see something.
 

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nice I'll try that next time theres the biggest and brightest full moon for 15 years plus shooting stars =) If only my boat was in the water, only thing left is the dinghy....backyard is starting to look like a boat yard. When are we gonna have our New York meet up???
 

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Telstar 28
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Best to get away from large urban areas, where the light pollution really drowns out a lot of the night sky. :)
 

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AEOLUS II
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As I was driving downtown I caught a glimpse of the full moon and thought it looked very large. It was a brief encounter as it quickly slipped behind clouds. This comes after one of the largest rain storms this fall...
The full moon over DC monuments is nearly always impressive!!



It's one of the few benefits of living and working nearby!!
 

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Telstar 28
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CP—

Please put your tinfoil hat back on... and take your meds. :)
"Each month the Moon makes a full orbit around the Earth in a slightly oval-shaped path, and tonight it will swing by the Earth at its closest distance, or perigee. It will pass by 356,613km (221,595 miles) away, which is about 28,000km closer than average."

I KNEW I felt crowded...
 

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Aeolus II
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The full moon over DC monuments is nearly always impressive!!



It's one of the few benefits of living and working nearby!!
Did you take that picture? It has the look of a composite (pasting the moon into a photo). Also the moon looks too large for that wide image area of the image. The city image looks like it was taken at the Iwo Jima memorial (or a bit South of there). and about a 200mm lens on a digital camera, the moon on the other hand looks significantly larger.

I took this image a while back.


It was taken from almost the same location using a 200mm lens on 1.5x digital camera. While it has no moon in the image when the Sun came up it was considerable smaller than your moon.

On another topic, I noticed the name of your boat is Aeolus II! That is the same as mine, where do you keep it? My boat is on West River just across from Pirates Cove in Galesville. Maybe we should get together sometime as we seem to both be in the same aera...
 

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AEOLUS II
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Did you take that picture? It has the look of a composite (pasting the moon into a photo). Also the moon looks too large for that wide image area of the image.

On another topic, I noticed the name of your boat is Aeolus II! That is the same as mine, where do you keep it? My boat is on West River just across from Pirates Cove in Galesville. Maybe we should get together sometime as we seem to both be in the same aera...
1. No, just a file photo but I've seen similar post cards and photos throughout town. Could be doctored, or sometimes a long lens may compress the image. The other night, though clouds were moving through, the moon did look pretty large!!

2. Yes, I visited your web log. I'll keep an eye out for you when we go to Pirates Cove. We are on Selby Bay/South River but really enjoy Galesville when we get a chance.

In the Spring, I know my wife would like a photo of our boat out on the water. If you need some "action shots" yourself, we could swap.

Photos that is, nothing unseemly!!
 

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Aeolus II
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As kinky as this reads...

That's a date! We are neighbors for sure. I listen for Aeolus II on 16.
 

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Telstar 28
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BTW, the use of an extremely long lens and having the moon that low in the sky will both emphasis the size of the moon. My guess is that was taken with a lens 400 mm or longer on a 35mm camera. :)
 
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