Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 2008 : Convergence of Perigee and Full Moon

Lovecraft was NOT a fan of hillbiilies and such, but he might smile askance at the Patsy Cline (1963) lyrics had he have heard them twang out: Blue moon of Kentucky keep on shining. Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue ...

Well, it wasn't a BLUE moon yesterday, but it was a WEIRD full moon. (A blue moon has several meanings, but of recent vintage - though spurious - it means two full moons in one month.) I'll rely on National Geographic to fill in the details. Lovecraft WOULD have enojoyed seeing Perigee and Full Moon convergence. If any weird things happened to YOU under the "Long Nights" moon let us know.


Although a full moon happens every month, the one that rises tomorrow will appear about 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than the other full moons seen so far this year. That's because our cosmic neighbor will be much closer than usual. The moon will be at its closest perigee — the nearest it gets to Earth during its egg-shaped orbit around our planet.

At its farthest from Earth, the moon is said to be at apogee.

Perigee and apogee each happen generally once a month, but the moon's wobbly orbit means that its exact distance at each of those events varies over the year.

The moon's phase can also be different during each apogee and perigee.

"Typically we don't have the full moon phase and perigee coinciding at the same time, so that makes this event particularly special," said Ed Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California.

What's more, tomorrow's event will be the closest lunar perigee since 1993, at 221,560 miles (356,566 kilometers) from Earth.

The moon's farthest apogee for the year will occur a couple weeks later on December 26, when the natural satellite will be 252,650 miles (406,601 kilometers) from Earth.


11 year old Lovecraft would have experiencd a nice Full Moon on 1901 Dec 25 12:15 (Wed) - other full moon events: on 1920 Dec 25 12:39 (Sat); he would have had it on Christmas Eve on 1912 Dec 24 04:30 (Tue ) and 1931 Dec 24 23:24 (Thu)


Perigee and Paogee calculator -

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