BIGGEST FULL MOON OF THE YEAR: Tonight’s full Moon is the biggest of the year, as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter than lesser Moons earlier in 2008. An astronomer would say this is a “perigee Moon” because it occurs at perigee, the side of the Moon’s elliptical orbit closest to Earth. Go outside tonight and soak up some moonlight. There’s plenty of it: full story.
GEMINID METEOR SHOWER: The annual Geminid meteor shower peaks on Dec. 13th and Dec. 14th when Earth passes through a stream of debris from extinct comet 3200 Phaethon. Bright moonlight will reduce the number of visible meteors from the usual 100/hr to only 20/hr or so. That’s still a nice show. For best results, watch the sky starting 10 pm local time on Saturday night (Dec 13th) until dawn on Sunday morning (Dec. 14th). [live updates]
It’s been awfully cold around here but if your back yard is warm enough or you and the kids are tough enough, it could make for a magical night. To up the kid appeal, you can add hot cocoa to keep warm. 🙂