Biggest Full Moon of the Year on this Friday.
Perigees do not always coincide with full moon days. Every month has a a perigee and an apogee. This Dec 12th we have the closest perigee of all the perigees of this year! Perigee: Dec 12 21:38 356567 km Full Moon: 2008 Dec 12 16:39 (time UTC former GMT) Explanation from NASA below.
“Full moons are always high during winter and, indeed, the solstice is right around the corner on Dec. 21st….Some full Moons are genuinely larger than others and this Friday’s is a whopper. Why? The Moon’s orbit is an ellipse with one side 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other. In the language of astronomy, the two extremes are called “apogee” (far away) and “perigee” (nearby). On Dec. 12th, the Moon becomes full a scant 4 hours after reaching perigee, making it 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser full Moons we’ve seen earlier in 2008…If you go outside around midnight it will be close to overhead and act like a cosmic floodlamp…The best time to look is when the Moon is near the horizon. That is when illusion mixes with reality to produce a truly stunning view. For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects….
Above: In 2004, Greek amateur astronomer Anthony Ayiomamitis photographed an apogee Moon and a perigee Moon, and set the images side by side to show the difference. “