Today is a treat for Astronomers as well as sky watchers. Don’t forget to catch a glimpse of our cosmic neighbor this evening. The Moon will be shining down on you with a special radiance tonight because it’s the nearest Full Moon of 2010. According to scientists, the moon will be the closer to the earth than it will be for the rest of the year – appearing 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger.
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 will become full three hours after reaching perigee, making it bigger and brighter than we are going to see for the rest of 2010.
Full moon of every month has a special name. Januaryâ€™s full moon is called â€˜Wolf Moonâ€™. According to Native American tradition the name is given after the wolves howling in the cold midwinter. As this is the second full moon of the month, this will also be a blue moon.
Another treat for Sky watchers is that they can spot Mars also. The Red Planet will glow with an intense orange-white light. In the early evening look for Mars less than 7Â° north-northeast of the Moon. You won’t have any trouble spotting Mars.