From the ABC 7 Weather team

Full Moon: A special night for watching the sky

November 28, 2012 - 01:06 PM
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A chance to see something special tonight


Tonight skies will be clear and a wonderful evening to see something special in the sky.  The Full Moon rises at 5:01PM.  It will be the "smallest" Full Moon of the year because the moon tonight is at "apogee" or the farthest distance from the earth.  Tonight when it is high in the sky, about midnight, it will be almost 250,000 miles away.  Back in May, the so called "Super Moon" was a Full Moon at perigee and "only"  222,000 miles away.  The rising Full Moon will still look huge to you because of the "moon illusion", check out my blog about this and a previous "Super Moon"  But tonight is not just a night to see the Full Moon but also to see a beautiful gathering of celestial objects in the night sky.  Look at this



 A great diagram from of what you will see.  The Full Moon and very nearby the brilliant planet Jupiter and then as the moon is higher and the sky darker the star Aldebaran.  But unlike in the diagram, you will probably see Aldebaran with an orange or even reddish color.  Aldebaran is a star relatively nearby and is a "Red Giant" star and indeed you can see the color.  Finally think about the distances of these three objects that appear so close tonight.  The way astronomers measure distance is the time it takes light from such sights to reach us.  186,000 miles is 1 light second.  The Full Moon tonight is1.3 light seconds away, the brilliant Jupiter is 378 million miles or about 34 light minutes away and that Red Giant Aldebaran is about 382 TRILLION MILES or about 65 light years away!!  Great sights tonight and if you, your parents or grandparents are about 65, go out about 9PM when this trio is higher in the sky and look at Aldebaran.  The light from that star entering your eyes tonight, left the star when you, or they, were born.  Pretty neat and great night sights.  Enjoy



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