At last yesterday I managed to get a reasonable shot of the Moon when it was (nearly) full! It was very cold outside and there was frozen snow on my car, which had taken a lot of scraping off. So I could only stay out for a few minutes at a time before coming in to warm up and then go out and have another go.
The photo below was taken at 7.30pm, 10 hours or so before the actual moment of the Moon being completely full. But of course I won’t see that from here. It won’t rise until around 6.00pm tonight, so if it’s clear, it will be at least 12 hours past full when I see it again.
The prominent crater Tycho shows up quite well. Tycho is a lunar impact crater in the southern lunar highlands which was named after the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. It’s about 85 kilometers across, and has rays of impact material radiating from it. To see where Tycho is, click on the photo which will take you to my Flickr photostream where I’ve added a note to show where Tycho is. Hold your cursor over the Moon to see it.
I hope to be able to get another shot of the Moon tonight, because today it’s at perigee. This is the nearest point of the Moon’s elliptical orbit in it’s cycle, and today it will be the nearest to us this year, apart from October. It’s distance away is around 359700 km or 223510 miles.
The furthest point of the Moon’s elliptical orbit in each cycle is called the apogee. The more extreme perigees and apogees often occur around January.
Apparently January’s full Moon is called the Wolf Moon which comes from the hungry wolf packs that would howl outside the villages of Native Americans in the coldness of January.
The forecast for tonight is clear skies and very cold, so hopefully I will be able to add another day to my collection of shots of the Moon on every day of it’s visible phases.