Perigee Full Moon in the Alps

By: Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator

Jan 29 2010

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Category: Photography

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Tonight the moon is full at 10:18pm PST where it rises at 5:05pm and the sun set’s at 5:21pm. Also in the night sky is Mars in its closest approach since 2007, and at sunset, you can watch bright Jupiter go down soon after the sun. The tide is SUPER low tonight at sunset and unusually high, too for the next few days.

The moon is also at perigee which means it’s the closest it will be to earth in 2010. According,  tonight it will be about 14 percent wider and 30 percent brighter than lesser full Moons of the year.

Pictured is Alps in France on the night the moon was at perigee in 2009 (APOD) Titled “Largest Full Moon of 2009 Credit & Copyright goes to Vincent Jacques Sky Shows.

APOD explains the phenomenon this way: The large angular extent of the full Moon was caused by the Moon being unusually close to Earth during its full phase. Because the Moon circles the Earth in an elliptical orbit, its angular size depends on how close the Moon is to closest approach (perigee) or farthest distance (apogee). Even so, the Moon’s was only about 15 percent larger in area and brightness than a more typical full Moon. In this image, a dramatically positioned Moon is seen rising above the Alps from Breil-sur-Roya in the southeast of France. Taken with an ordinary digital camera but extraordinary timing, the image also captured a crossing jet plane.

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