Saturday, January 30, 2010

Full Moon January 29, 2010 “Wolf” Moon

The full moon on January 29, 2010 was reported to be the largest and brightest full moon of the year. The size of the moon itself hadn’t changed, of course. The moon’s non-circular orbit put it at its closest to the earth for 2010. (It will actually reach the closest perigee for 2010 at 4:04 a.m. ET Saturday.) Despite the fact that temperatures were nearing the single digits, we went out into the yard to take a few pictures in the very bright moonlight, a sort of companion to the photos of the full moon and Mars that I took earlier in the day.Combined with the snow, it made for a very bright scene.

January's full moon is also called the wolf moon, from Native Americans who associated the January full moon with wolves howling in the cold. What was odd is that while we were outside taking pictures, we heard many dogs barking and howling in the distance.

Mars was also nearby in the sky, and despite the fact that some high clouds were moving in, the planet made a brief appearance in one of the photographs. It's that tiny dot of light off to the left of the first photograph, near the tree top. (Click on any photo for a larger size.)

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Sara said...

Well, at least you guys got to see the moon last night. Clouds kept Houstonians from viewing what was being touted as 2010's brightest moon. So how did this moon one up September's annual Harvest Moon? I thought that was the brightest moon of the year.

Great photos from the multi-talented Chris.

Chris Zimmer said...

I was unbelievably bright, and the snow on the ground just magnified it. The reflection from the snow made it seem brighter than any moon I've seen in a while. And the high clouds made some beautiful patterns. By the way, when the astronomers said this moon was the brightest for the year, they meant for 2010!