Friday, 29 January 2010
The first full moon of 2010
Full Moon by Walter de la Mare
One night as Dick lay fast asleep,
Into his drowsy eyes
A great still light began to creep
From out the silent skies.
It was the lovely moon's, for when
He raised his dreamy head,
Her surge of silver filled the pane
And streamed across his bed.
So, for a while, each gazed at each –
Dick and the solemn moon –
Till, climbing slowly on her way,
She vanished, and was gone.
Tonight, if the skies are clear, astronomers in UK will be able to see the January full moon. It is the biggest and brightest full moon of the year, known as a perigee moon. Perigee is the closest point in orbit to Earth. Apparently it will be as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter than moons later in 2010.
In addition, Mars has been shining ever brighter in the east since the middle of the month and tonight it will be at its brightest and in opposition to the sun, meaning that it is really close to Earth, as close as 61.7 million miles! The red planet will be most easily seen closest to the Moon around 9:00 pm.
The January full moon is called variously Moon After Yule, Wolf Moon, Old Moon or Winter Moon. If you are a gardener planting according to the phases of the moon, which method is thought to produce bigger, stronger plants and higher yields, you should be planting root crops, bulbs, biennials and perennials from now until the Last Quarter.
Hopefully, if the sky remains clear (and we remember!) we'll manage to capture Mars and Moon together later on.