New Delhi, Jan 29:Don’t forget to watch the moon on Saturday. The brightest and biggest full moon of 2010 will be seen today.
The moon will be closest to the earth on that day and will appear to be bigger and brightest of the year. Saturday’s full moon will be around 15 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter as compared to other full moons during the year.
Explaining the reason, director SPACE (Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators) C.B. Devgun said: "Some full moons are genuinely larger than others and the one on Saturday will be huge."
"This is because 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 Jan 30, the moon becomes full, three hours after reaching perigee, making it bigger and brighter than we are going to see for the rest of 2010," said Devgun.
The moon at perigee will look bigger than it looks in all other positions, as the apparent size of closer objects is always more.
"As this is the second full moon of the month, this will also be a blue moon," said N.S. Raghunandan Kumar, general secretary of the Planetary Society of India.
"The moon will not only shine brighter but will also appear bigger as compared to other full moons during the year," Science Popularization Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) Director C B Devgun said.The full moon will be at its best at around 8 PM, he said.
The phenomenon occurs as the Moon’s orbit is elliptical with one side 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other.
At closest, our natural satellite lies roughly 3,56,630 kms from Earth compared to the Moon’s average distance of 3,84,800 km from Earth.