Biggest full moon of the year on Friday

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Biggest full moon of the year on Friday
Photo: DPA

Not all full moons are alike. The full moon this Friday night will be the biggest and brightest this year, US space agency NASA reported, but German winter weather could prevent stargazers from getting a good view.


The full moon on December 12 will be a real “whopper,” NASA said in a statement. Full moons are always high during the winter months, but this moon will not only be the biggest and brightest, but also the highest of the year. This will occur because the moon will become full just four hours after reaching its “perigee,” or the point closest to the earth in its orbit. This makes it 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than any other moon in 2008, NASA reported.

Despite the grim weather forecasts for Germany on Friday night, people in the western part of the country might have a bit of lunar luck. The rest of Germany will unfortunately have trouble catching the spectacle due to snow, rain and sleet.

The moonrise will be particularly spectacular. “That is when illusion mixes with reality to produce a truly stunning view,” NASA said. “For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects.”

Depending on the location the moon will rises around 4 pm in Germany.

“But you still won't be able to see Armstrong's footprint. Not even Hubble can do that,” NASA said, adding that the bright moon will act as a “cosmic floodlamp” to illuminate the landscape, especially if there is snow.

The “perigee moon” also brings higher tides, but there is no reason to worry according to National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the difference is only a matter of centimetres.


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