This big, bright, beautiful Full Moon rose over
Lick Observatory Wednesday night.
Traditionally a full moon in January might be called
the Wolf Moon.
But this moon reached its full phase on
January 16, 4:54 UT, within about 2 hours of apogee,
the most distant point in
elliptical orbit around planet Earth.
That also makes it the
full moon of 2014.
Of course the
apparent size between the largest and
smallest full moons is hard to see, because
the difference in distance between lunar apogee and perigee, or
closest point in the Moon's orbit, is only about 50,000 kilometers,
while the Moon's average distance is around 385,000 kilometers.
Though not by much,
apogee's full moon was also the smallest full moon
of the last 1,000 years.
It will keep
that distinction until a slightly smaller full moon occurs
close to apogee in 2154.