Did you see the Full Moon last night?
Near the horizon,
the lunar orb may have seemed to loom large,
swollen in appearance by the famous
But the Full Moon really was a large Full Moon last night,
reaching its exact full phase within an hour of
lunar perigee, the
point in the Moon's elliptical orbit closest to planet Earth.
A similar near perigee Full Moon last occured on
December 12, 2008.
The difference in the Moon's apparent size as it moves from perigee
to apogee, its farthest point from Earth, is about 14 percent.
Of course, a nearly Full Moon will rise again tonight, lighting
the skies on the date of the Equinox
or equal night.
The Full Moon also looms large in this
telescopic lunar portrait.
Captured earlier this year, the rising lunar orb is dramatically
matched to the 2,500 year old
Parthenon, in Athens, Greece.