LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Township residents awoke Sunday morning (Jan. 11, 2009) to the fading light of the biggest and brightest full moon of 2009.
Because of its elliptical orbit, the moon on Saturday night and Sunday morning was at its perigee – its closest point to Earth – for the year. That made its apparent size in the sky larger than it will be on any other night during the next 12 months, MSNBC News reported.
The moon makes a trip around Earth every 29.5 days, but its orbit is not a perfect circle. One portion is about 31,000 miles closer to the planet than the farthest part. Because the two celestial bodies were so relatively close on Saturday and Sunday, the moon appeared about 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter in our sky than some other full moons during 2009, according to NASA.
Coincidentally, the moon was similarly positioned during December, making that month’s full moon the largest of 2008, MSNBC said.
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