Moon Will Appear Extra Bright Tonight

Tonight's sky will seem 30 percent brighter than usual, NASA says

By Rebecca Smith Hurd,  Newser User

Posted Dec 12, 2008 4:29 PM CST

(Newser) – If tonight’s full moon looks bigger and brighter than normal, that’s because it is, Space.com reports. The satellite reaches its perigree today, making its position the closest of the year to Earth—though still some 222,000 miles away. The moon's irregular orbit causes the distance to vary.


As a result, NASA says, the full moon will appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than  others this year. Because of the moon’s gravitational relationship with the sun, its proximity will pull tides higher tonight, too.

The silhouette of a single engine plane caught in the full moon on Saturday evening over Denver.
The silhouette of a single engine plane caught in the full moon on Saturday evening over Denver.   (AP Photo/Bill Ross)
Saquaro cacti are silhouetted by a full moon rising over South Mountain in Phoenix.
Saquaro cacti are silhouetted by a full moon rising over South Mountain in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Paul Connors)
Orren Carmen of Grass Valley, Calif., walks his horse Kilt in front of a full moon during the Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive.
Orren Carmen of Grass Valley, Calif., walks his horse Kilt in front of a full moon during the Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive.   (AP Photo Nevada Appeal, Kevin Clifford)
LONDON - MARCH 03:  A full moon sits in the nights sky prior to the total lunar eclipse on March 3, 2007 in London, England.  For a little over an hour the earth passed between the sun and moon, casting a hue of red over it as the suns light...
LONDON - MARCH 03: A full moon sits in the nights sky prior to the total lunar eclipse on March 3, 2007 in London, England. For a little over an hour the earth passed between the sun and moon, casting...   (Getty Images)
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