Called a 'perigee Moon,' Earth's only natural satellite'”the Moon'”will put on a dramatic up-in-the sky show Friday night.
Catch the lunar excitement, and it's free to all observers! Just look up into the night sky!
A perigee Moon simply means that the orbit of the Moon around the Earth is in the shape of an ellipse (kinda like a slightly smashed circle), with one end (its perigee) being shorter in distance than the other end (its apogee).
So, the perigee Moon is at its closest point from the Earth, and it will appear bigger and brighter to us observers here on Earth.
In fact, the full Moon, the first one in 2010, that occurs on Friday night will be about 14% wider and approximately 30% brighter than any other full Moon seen in 2010.
The actual Full Moon will occur at 0618 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on January 30, 2010, or 1:18 a.m. Saturday morning, January 30, 2010.
At sunset look to the east in the night sky. The Moon should be at or just above the horizon. If it isn't seen, wait a bit, and it will slowly rise from beneath the horizon.
Do you think that is enough incentive to go outside and see such a sight? Check out page two for an answer!
Well, if you go out on Friday night you will also see a bright, orange star-like object near to the Moon.
In fact, they will be in an all-night conjunction; that is, seeing two celestial bodies, from our vantage point on Earth, positioned very close to one another.
In actuality, they are not very close to each other, only appear to be so when looking up in the sky at them. The Moon is only about 240,000 miles away from Earth, while Mars is about 60 million miles from Earth.
For additional, information on Mars, read the 1-27-2010 iTWire article '2010: Mars gets brighter and closer to Earth.'
The article begins: 'On Wednesday night, January 27, 2010, Mars will be only 99 million kilometers (60 million miles) away from Earth. But, on Friday the viewing might be an even better for seeing Mars and the full Moon. So, take a look up in the sky and see a brighter and closer Red Planet.'
Learn more about Friday's Full Moon at the 1.28.2010 Space.com article 'Full Moon Friday: What You Can See.'