First Full Moon of 2010

(10 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

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Tonight is the first Full Moon of 2010. It is a warm clear night here in Haiti. Moon rise was impressive.

Moon Puts On Its Best Show of the Year Tonight

Jan. 29) – Tonight’s full moon will be the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. It offers anyone with clear skies an opportunity to identify easy-to-see features on the moon.

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.But why will this moon be bigger than others? Here’s how the moon works:

The moon is, on average, 238,855 miles from Earth. The moon’s orbit around Earth – which causes it to go through all its phases once every 29.5 days – is not a perfect circle, but rather an ellipse. One side of the orbit is 31,070 miles closer than the other.

So in each orbit, the moon reaches this closest point to us, called perigee. Once or twice a year, perigee coincides with a full moon, as it will tonight, making the moon bigger and brighter than any other full moons during the year.

Tonight it will be about 14 percent wider and 30 percent brighter than lesser full moons of the year, according to Spaceweather.com.

As a bonus, Mars will be just to the left of the moon tonight. Look for the reddish, starlike object.

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February 2 is the Wiccan/Pagan Festival of Imbolc. It is also known as the Fire Festival that is the halfway mark between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Astronomically it occurs Wednesday, February 3, 2010, 9:39 pm. It is also called Solmonath and Candlemass, and to the ancient Druids, it was Oimeaig (pronounced im-mo(l) g). Brighid is the primary Goddess who is celebrated. She is the patroness of poets, the sister of Fairies and is often connected with healing. The festival is marked with red and green candles symbolizing the blood of birth and new life.

And, yes, it corresponds with Ground Hog Day.

If you do nothing else tonight, light a candle and go look at the moon

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    • TMC on January 30, 2010 at 3:52 am
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    I may not be around much for a couple of days. There has been a surge of patients with infections, diarrhea, tetanus and now some cases of measles. There is no shortage of people in need here, just a shortage of supplies, clean water and food. There would be no need to worry about security if they just gave these folks food and water. May the Goddess help these people

    • Edger on January 30, 2010 at 4:00 am

    ^^

    OO

    • Eddie C on January 30, 2010 at 5:07 am

    But I don’t do well with the moon.

    I did much better with tonight’s sunset.

  1. I’ve had way too much going on of late, so was unaware of the First Full Moon Event of 2010.  But, I must say, that earlier this evening, I was looking out the window and, yes, I saw the largest moon I’ve ever seen — and a kinda’ medium yellow in color.  Positively amazing!  A delight!

    Speak with all due respect for the Wiccan/Pagan Festival of Imbolc (heh!) and Ground Hog’s Day — yes, I’ve often been asked if I’ve seen my shadow!  😉

    No question about it:

    There would be no need to worry about security if they just gave these folks food and water.

    Disgusting scenario.  The “security” is for the benefit of the (Gates) military and mercenaries and their gains, at our expenses, and to the utter detriment of the Haitian people, many of whom have died needlessly, as in “Katrina” — only a massive event.

    Our government and all connected to it has to be the most cruel and inhumane of any that exist* — utterly heartless!

    *Yes, there are others, but to this humongous extent?    

  2. very clear very bright. Seems to be less light loom tonight too–no idea why.  

  3. …. and it was luminous.  

    • sharon on January 30, 2010 at 7:48 am

    i unfortunately missed it and it is too effing cold in nyc for me to go to the roof to see it now. even conchita has burrowed into the bedclothes for the duration of the night.  it does sound spectacular though.  next month i guess…

    • Edger on January 31, 2010 at 1:41 am

  4. cloudy skies precluded viewing of the wolf moon in this part of the country.

    Hope some of you had the chance to see the blue moon on New Year’s Eve a few weeks ago. The next full moon on a New Year’s Eve will not arrive for another nineteen years.  After an overcast day, during the evening, the clouds parted just enough for the moon to make a series of brief appearances, occasionally hiding behind wispy clouds, then reappearing time and again.  

    And for an extremely tangential aside, here is one of the most beautiful songs ever written about the moon, as performed by one of the most widely recognized harpists who ever lived — the instantly recognizable, multi-talented Harpo Marx.

    Some fascinating detail about Harpo is described here and reads as follows:

    Who would have guessed that the most widely recognized harpist in the world would be someone who was largely self-taught, started out leaning the harp on the wrong shoulder, couldn’t read music, and never spoke a word on stage?

    Harpo’s unorthodox technique baffled the masters of harp, but he mesmerized the public. Long hours spent practicing combined with his comedic talents earned him international status as an entertainer.

    He was the first American to perform in the USSR after the country was recognized by the Roosevelt administration, and he gave a command performance before the Queen of England. His movie career made him an American icon and ensured that he would be recognized by generations long after his death.

    And here is his interpretation of “Blue Moon”, in this clip from the 1939 Marx Brothers film, “At the Circus”

    • Edger on January 31, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    I saw one of these from my back yard on night about 1 AM. I’d never seen a Moon halo that big before, but it was pretty amazing. This picture doesn’t do it justice. It was about half the width of the sky. And I was straight.

  5. That full moon also brought a proxigean spring tide with it yesterday.

    My S.O. was at his house at the beach in North Carolina and mentioned yesterday that the ocean tide looked really, really high.  I told him that there had been a full moon, and we know that full and new moons bring with them high tides called “spring tides” because of the combined gravitational pull of the sun and the moon aligned.  But I did not realize, until I did some googling that it was an especially strong pull yesterday, called the proxigean spring tide, which occurs about every 1.5 years.

    http://www.astronomycafe.net/q

    And so I continue my higher education, courtesy of Google and the intertoobs.  And I pass this on to whomever might be interested.  In fact, I might even Tweet it, now that I am an expert Twitter user 😉

    One other cool thing, if you didn’t already know:  there are at least two astronauts on the International Space Station who use Twitter.  They send “twitterpics” from space and various other things, and sometimes reply to people.  Recently, they began doing direct tweets from the ISS.  Before that, they had to email them and someone on earth would tweet them.  Now they have full connectivity or permission or some such.  And tomorrow, they will begin to broadcast video directly to the web too.  Their ids are @Astro_Soichi and @Astro_TJ if you want to check them out.  Today, Soichi sent out a fabulous picture of Mt. Fuji from 200 miles above.

    • Diane G on February 1, 2010 at 3:34 am

    is also the day the earth was blessed errr cursed errrrrr. witnessed my birth.

    Both of my Grandmothers were born on the same day, ond one predicted, and met her final day on Feb 2nd in Church…

    We all were “different.”

    Heh.

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