Thursday, January 16, 2014

Caught on Camera: Mini Moon January 2014

Yesterday night brought the the smallest Full Moon of 2014 (and about as small of one as you'll ever see at all). Why? When the Moon reached full last night, it was only about 2 hours away from a point in its orbit called apogee, which is the farthest away the Moon can be to Earth.

So, why is this?

As was first discovered in the early 1600s by Johannes Kepler, all orbiting bodies move in elliptical (slightly elongated) orbits, the Moon is no exception. The fact the lunar orbit is elliptical is the root of the whole 'mini Moon' event that happened last night. Because of the elliptical orbit, the Moon is not always the same distance from Earth, but a varying distance that can change by as much as about 27,000 miles, hence why the Moon can look bigger or smaller as seen from Earth.

The above composite photo (taken with Nikon D700 mounted on Orion ED80 telescope)serves as proof!

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