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"Nothing is ever achieved without enthusiasm."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Duck photo source: Lisa's Chaos
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Hugs and blessings,

Friday, December 12, 2008

Haiku Friday #97 - Look at the Moon Tonight!



Almost six o'clock ...
dark outside & fur-friends fed ...
ready to relax

after busily
running errands ... pulling weeds ...
cleaning the kitchen

visiting a few
'bloggy friends' & commenting
... dealing with email.

Time now to shift gears!
No rain yet ... but cloudy skies
obscure the full moon.

This is sad because
the moon is in 'perigee'
making it appear

larger than it does
usually ... if you have
clear skies, don't miss this!

Additional facts about this evening's event:

"If the full moon tonight looks unusually large, it is not your imagination – it is the biggest and brightest full moon to be seen for 15 years.

Each month the Moon makes a full orbit around the Earth in a slightly oval-shaped path, and tonight it will swing by the Earth at its closest distance, or perigee. It will pass by 356,613km (221,595 miles) away, which is about 28,000km closer than average.

The unusual feature of tonight is that the perigee also coincides with a full moon, which will make it appear 14 per cent bigger and some 30 per cent brighter than most full moons this year – so long as the clouds hold off from blocking the view.

The next closest encounter with a full moon this large will not be until November 14, 2016.

In addition to this lunar flypast, much of Britain may also be treated to a strange phenomenon known as the moon illusion. As the Moon rises in the late afternoon, it will appear even larger as it lies close to the horizon. Psychologists have tried to explain this as a trick of the eye, as the landscape on the horizon appears to make the Moon loom much larger, an effect that disappears as the Moon rises above the horizon, although viewing it through a tube, such as a toilet roll, can make it look large again.

With the Moon approaching so close to the Earth, its gravity will pull a slightly higher tide than normal for a full moon. This so-called perigeal tide adds about 0.5m (1.6ft) to the high-water mark, and with freshening southwesterly winds forecast, this may cause some flooding, especially along parts of the South West coast.

Tonight’s full moon is also notable for rising to its greatest height in the night sky for the entire year, lying almost overhead at midnight. This is because we are approaching the winter solstice, on December 21, and thanks to the tilt of the Earth the Moon appears at its highest, as the Sun is at its lowest.

Another astronomical treat that could be seen tonight and for the next two nights is the annual Geminid meteor shower, one of the year’s best displays of shooting stars. Up to 100 meteors an hour can fly across the sky. The meteors, which are easy to spot with the naked eye, appear to shoot out from the constellation Gemini, hence their name, but they can be seen all over the sky. However, with a full moon so bright, the best place to look is away from the Moon.

Meteor showers happen when the Earth passes through clouds of debris shed from comets. As the tiny fragments smash into the Earth’s upper atmosphere at about 100,000mph, they burn up in streaks of light.

For reasons that are not understood, the Geminid meteor showers are tending to grow stronger each year."

Source: Times Online
Small Reflections ... Smile Back

Hot Update from the North Pole
"Santa’s Chief Elf, Ingner Torkut, has informed NORAD that the elves are working hard to create 20 million dolls of many varieties, and 30 million different kinds of building and construction blocks. More than ten metric tons of wax have been turned into crayons in every color of the rainbow."

Thought for Today
"There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls." George Carlin, Brain Droppings, 1997

9 comments:

Joyce said...

That was SO interesting, Storyteller! Thank you. It is so cloudy here tonight. We're expecting snow! I would love to see the meteor showers, but don't think that will happen with this thick cloud cover.

Thank you for the fun post. :)

Dona said...

I was looking forward to seeing that moon for a few days (I subscribe to emails from NASA). I saw the moon just after it rose, then went into my son's wrestling tournament. When we got out at 8 there was too much cloud cover to see the moon anymore.

Did you get a photo? I didn't have a camera with me, otherwise I would have tried.

storyteller said...

Joyce and Dona - It seems we all missed the actual event due to cloudy skies. I did catch a glimpse of the full moon this morning (and yesterday morning too) but by the time I ran inside for my camera, opportunity to snap a photo had passed both times. I seldom have good luck photographing the moon, but I'm sure there will be a plethora of photos shared in this 'virtual' world. Thanks to both of you for dropping by.
Hugs and blessings,

Mama Zen said...

We've had a gorgeous moon here in flyover country!

Akelamalu said...

That was interesting m'dear. :)

kitten said...

Great info. Sorry I have missed you this week, but mom has needed my attention.
Hope you have a wonderful week end!

Tammy said...

I showed Aidan the Santa website last night. He wants to keep checking to see if Santa is on his way. LOL. I'll have to show him that NORAD one next.

Karen said...

I'm reading this Saturday afternoon--I completely forgot to go outside and look at the moon last night! Rats!

maggie's mind said...

Mmm, such a peaceful haiku. I can't recall if I saw the moon on Friday. Wish I'd been here before then. ;)

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