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Largest & Brightest Full Moon of 2010

January 29th's full moon was the biggest and brightest full moon of 2010. This being the first full moon of 2010, it is also known as the wolf moon, a moniker dating back to Native American culture and the notion that hungry wolves howled at the full moon on cold winter nights. Each month brings another full moon name.

The picture below was taken out of my back door (through the glass), at around 10:00 pm local time (Erie, PA), with an outside temperature of 6 °F.

On average, the moon is 238,855 miles (384,400 km) from Earth. Its orbit around Earth causes it to go through all its phases once every 29.5 days. Since the orbit is elliptical with the Earth in one of the foci, one side of the orbit is 31,070 miles (50,000 km) closer than the other. So in each orbit, the moon reaches this closest point to us, called perigee (apogee is the farthest point). Occasionally perigee coincides with a full moon, as it did (or nearly so) on this night, making the moon bigger and brighter than any other full moons of the year. Tonight it was about 14% greater in diameter and 30% brighter than lesser full moons to come the for the remainder of 2010.

Check out the contrast of the shadows!

RF Cafe - Largest and Brightest Full Moon of 2010 on January 29th


If you will send me an e-mail if you have a pet with a name from science and include a photo, I will post it here.
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