- A full moon at perigee also brings higher ocean tides. This tug of the moon on Earth also creates tides in the planet's crust, not just in the oceans.
- Beaches are more polluted during full moon, owing to the higher tides.
- In reality, there's no such thing as a full moon. The full moon occurs when the sun, Earth and the moon are all lined up, almost. If they're perfectly aligned, Earth casts a shadow on the moon and there's a total lunar eclipse. So during what we call a full moon, the moon's face is actually slightly less than 100 percent illuminated.
- The moon is moving away as you read this, by about 1.6 inches (4 cm) a year.
Friday, January 29, 2010
From the Rime of the Ancient Mariner...
The Moving Moon
went up the sky.
And nowhere did
Softly she was
And a star
or two abide.
by Samuel Talyor Coleridge 1772-1834
Tonight's full moon will be the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. It offers anyone with clear skies an opportunity to identify easy-to-see features on the moon.
This being the first full moon of 2010, it is also known as the wolf moon, a moniker dating back to Native American culture and the notion that hungry wolves howled at the full moon on cold winter nights. Each month brings another full moon name.
But why will this moon be bigger than others? Here's how the moon works:
The moon is, on average, 238,855 miles (384,400 km) from Earth. The moon's orbit around Earth – which causes it to go through all its phases once every 29.5 days – is not a perfect circle, but rather an ellipse. One side of the orbit is 31,070 miles (50,000 km) closer than the other.
So in each orbit, the moon reaches this closest point to us, called perigee. Once or twice a year, perigee coincides with a full moon, as it will tonight, making the moon bigger and brighter than any other full moons during the year.
Tonight it will be about 14 percent wider and 30 percent brighter than lesser full Moons of the year, according to Spaceweather.com.
As a bonus, Mars will be just to the left of the moon tonight. Look for the reddish, star-like object.
Full moon craziness
Many people think full moons cause strange behavior among animals and even humans. In fact several studies over the years have tried to tie lunar phases to births, heart attacks, deaths, suicides, violence, psychiatric hospital admissions and epileptic seizures, and more. Connections have been inclusive or nonexistent.
The moon does have some odd effects on our planet, and there are oodles of other amazing moon facts and misconceptions:
The moon illusion
Finally, be sure to get out and see the full moon as it rises, right around sunset. Along the horizon, the moon tends to seem even bigger. This is just an illusion.
You can prove to yourself that this is an illusion. Taking a small object such as a pencil eraser, hold it at arm's length, and compare its size to that of the moon just as it rises. Then repeat the experiment later in the night and you'll see that the moon compares the same in both cases. Alternately, snap two photos of the moon, with a digital camera or your cell phone, when the moon is near the horizon and later when it's higher in the sky. Pull both photos up on your computer screen and make a side-by-side comparison.
Astronomers and psychologists agree the moon illusion is just that, but they don't agree on how to explain it.
The Golden Tarot of Klimt, Tarot of the Divine Legacy, Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn, Universal Fantasy Tarot ( And FYI, I think I have them posted in reversed order or my writing about them. So, be creative here, and look at each card from the right side of the page, to the left. ) It is just one of those days...
This Beautiful Moon.
All the books, say all different things about what this card means. As they should, they are written by many brilliant people, that see the Moon through their own perception. I go by the Art. Or how I feel when I see this card. Or what other cards show up with it.
Today, I really feel this card. The Woman by Gustav Klimt, curling up, eyes closed tightly, in a fetal position. Naked....out there. Really out there. The Beautiful Lady in Ciro Marchetti's Moon card, she, basking it the glow of the full moon. Soaking it up.,A site filled with mystery, seduction, silence. The depiction from the Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn. A place you don't want to be. Spooky, haunted wild animals roaming....the crayfish with sharp claws....waiting to slice your feet. The Moon's face...somber. Go away. We don't want you here. And the Universal Fantasy Tarot Moon. Finally more than one person shows up here. But who are they? You cannot see their faces...hidden by wild heathenish masks. The look hungry to me, and fierce. Warriors on a hunt. Someone you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.This is all an Illusion. Really. Don't believe what you see, as you can't really see the truth. You are wandering around in the dark. Stop. One way to go 'with' this card, and reap the benefits of drawing it, is to sit with the memories. To let the past float up. To cry. To feel it. And to wait for the Sun to come up, light to flood your path. Morning will come. It will. So, maybe go back to bed, curl up with hot cocoa and read. And pray. And just let whatever has been hidden, lurking in the corners of your soul...come up.
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