Sunday, January 11, 2009
"Full Wolf Moon - January Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January's full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon.
If skies are clear Saturday, go out at sunset and look for the giant moon rising in the east. It will be the biggest and brightest one of 2009, sure to wow even seasoned observers.
Earth, the moon and the sun are all bound together by gravity, which keeps us going around the sun and keeps the moon going around us as it goes through phases. The moon makes a trip around Earth every 29.5 days.
But the orbit is not a perfect circle. One portion is about 31,000 miles (50,000 km) closer to our planet than the farthest part, so the moon's apparent size in the sky changes. Saturday night (Jan. 10) the moon will be at perigee, the closest point to us on this orbit.
It will appear about 14 percent bigger in our sky and 30 percent brighter than some other full moons during 2009, according to NASA. (A similar setup occurred in December, making that month's full moon the largest of 2008.)
Tides will be higher, too. Earth's oceans are pulled by the gravity of the moon and the sun. So when the moon is closer, tides are pulled higher. Scientists call these perigean tides, because they occur when the moon is at or near perigee. (The farthest point on the lunar orbit is called apogee.)
A full moon rises right around sunset, no matter where you are. That's because of the celestial mechanics that produce a full moon: The moon and the sun are on opposite sides of the Earth, so that sunlight hits the full face of the moon and bounces back to our eyes.
At moonrise, the moon will appear even larger than it will later in the night when it's higher in the sky. This is an illusion that scientists can't fully explain. Some think it has to do with our perception of things on the horizon vs. stuff overhead.
Try this trick, though: Using a pencil eraser or similar object held at arm's length, gauge the size of the moon when it's near the horizon and again later when it's higher up and seems smaller. You'll see that when compared to a fixed object, the moon will be the same size in both cases.
If you have other plans for Saturday night, take heart: You can see all this on each night surrounding the full moon, too, because the moon will be nearly full, rising earlier Friday night and later Sunday night."
I took this excerpt from MSN and thought it was really good. I happened to be outside yesterday as the sun went down and got to see the moon. I commented to Sonny about how bright it was and then heard on the news late last night that it was a "Wolf Moon". It got my curiosity up about it. It is amazing how our universe is so connected and we in turn are connected to it. The moon phases control our tides and the tides control our weather. And even control our sleep cycles. I know I don't sleep as well on a full moon.
God placed all these to work together to allow changes to occur in our world. Why do we need such changes. Well think about it...we would get mighty bored if we didn't have changes. Same old thing day in and day out. Then it brings beauty and cleansing. Have you ever watched the wind...it blows the leaves around and moves them from place to place. I think of it as God's vacuum cleaner or broom and he sweeps up the debris. The leaves that are blown around are eventually crumbled and the rains stick it to the ground and it returns to dirt and it adds so much to the dirt. It is God's way of naturally building up the soil and fertilizing it.
I can really say that the moon is beautiful and only hope your sky is clear enough to get these views. We miss so much sometimes staying inside and going to and fro working and being busy in general. Stop and take time out to just enjoy what God has provided.