Be Sure To Glance Up At the Skies Tonight

By Meera Dolasia on December 12, 2008

Wherever you are tonight, be sure to glance up at the sky, especially as the moon rises. You will be treated to the biggest moon in fifteen years, as it reaches its closest point to planet Earth.

The sun, earth and moon are all drawn to each other by gravity, which keeps the earth revolving round the sun and the moon around the earth. While the moon takes about 30 days for its revolution, its orbit is oval not round.

Tonight, it is approaching the point where the oval orbit will be the closest to the Earth. What is normally a distance of about 238,855 miles will be reduced  to a distance of 221,560 miles.

Astronomers predict that the moon will be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons during the year. Since the moon coming this close around full moon happens only occasionally, this is a rare treat.

And if you happen to live close to the ocean, you will also notice that the tides are higher. That's because tides are caused by the pull from the gravity of the moon and sun. Tonight's tides, named after the moon's closest point to the Earth, Perigee, are called Perigean tides.

While the moon remains the same size throughout the night, it looks the largest when it first appears on the horizon. This however, is an illusion because stuff always seems closer when it is on the horizon, than when it is overhead. suggests a simple experiment that can be done to verify this fact. Take a pencil eraser or something similar and measure the moon when it is at the horizon. Do the same thing when it is higher up and you'll see that it is exactly the same size both times!

If you happen to see the amazing moon be sure to write in and tell us your impression.


Share by EmailShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TwitterShare on tumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on PinterestShare on RedditShare on Edmodo
to use your custom avatar.
  • anickol
    anickolWednesday, February 11, 2015 at 9:42 am
    i am in 4th grade and i think that this article is amazing.
    • CamTuesday, October 7, 2014 at 8:13 am
      I like the moon it is va vry cool
      • BobMonday, September 1, 2014 at 5:40 pm
        That will be scary
        • smileyface4life
          smileyface4lifeThursday, June 12, 2014 at 10:19 am
          i heard that the moon will get closer and closer 2 earth and when they touch, earth will explode
          • toco
            tocoTuesday, November 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm
            that is very awesome
            • cottoncandy 1Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:39 pm
              wayy cool man
              • cottoncandy1
                cottoncandy1Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm
                • RIOTWednesday, May 30, 2012 at 6:43 am
                  • slyFriday, May 25, 2012 at 6:51 am
                    • slyFriday, May 25, 2012 at 6:49 am
                      awesommmmmme duuuudesss

                      Latest Comments

                      lesoph1000 wrote:

                      awesome i wish it rained coins here
                      A 'Fishy' Downpour In Australia

                      lesoph1000 wrote:

                      no i think it is all water with ...
                      700-Year Old Chinese 'Mummy' Loo...

                      leap411 wrote:

                      That is funny... Absolutely hila...
                      Fisherman Discovers Starfish Wit...