Digital News Report– The biggest full moon of 2009 will, in fact, be the very first full moon of the year. On Saturday, the moon will be at the very closest point to earth of its’ orbit this year. Due to its’ elliptical path, it will be nearly 31,000 miles closer than its’ farthest point. According to NASA, it will appear about 14 percent bigger in our sky and 30 percent brighter than many other full moons during 2009.
Though this moon will be a spectacular sight, last months was around 580 miles closer to earth. Last month’s full moon was the biggest during the period from 1993 to 2016. However, to the untrained eye, this month’s moon will be nearly indistinguishable from the last one. It will be around 222,140 miles away from earth.
Since the earth’s oceans are pulled by the gravity of the sun and moon, tides will be higher during the event. These are called perigean tides, because they occur when the moon is at or near perigee, its’ closest point in the moons orbit around earth. These occur twice a year. The farthest point on the lunar orbit is called apogee.
The best time for viewing the moon will be near sunset as the moon rises. It will appear larger at this time than during the rest of the night. This is merely an illusion, but it makes for a spectacular sight. For Bay Area and central coast residents, the sky should be clear. But it will definitely be cold, so bundle up.