The Lord's witness of His creation. The
next event will be shortly after the feast of tabernacles in 2016. Sir
Isaac Newton had made observations of such events and times. Let us be
watchmen unto the Lord's events. His creation yearns form His
return. Let us be faithful, watch and pray. R
Look up tonight for a spectacular treat in the sky
Biggest full moon for
years enhanced by shooting stars
If the full moon tonight looks unusually large, it is not your imagination –
it is the biggest and brightest full moon to be seen for 15 years.
Each month the Moon makes a full orbit around the Earth in a slightly
oval-shaped path, and tonight it will swing by the Earth at its closest
distance, or perigee. It will pass by 356,613km (221,595 miles) away, which is
about 28,000km closer than average.
The unusual feature of tonight is that the perigee also coincides with a full
moon, which will make it appear 14 per cent bigger and some 30 per cent brighter
than most full moons this year – so long as the clouds hold off from blocking
The next closest encounter with a full moon this large will not be until
November 14, 2016.
In addition to this lunar flypast, much of Britain may also be treated to a
strange phenomenon known as the moon illusion. As the Moon rises in the late
afternoon, it will appear even larger as it lies close to the horizon.
Psychologists have tried to explain this as a trick of the eye, as the landscape
on the horizon appears to make the Moon loom much larger, an effect that
disappears as the Moon rises above the horizon, although viewing it through a
tube, such as a toilet roll, can make it look large again.
With the Moon approaching so close to the Earth, its gravity will pull a
slightly higher tide than normal for a full moon. This so-called perigeal tide
adds about 0.5m (1.6ft) to the high-water mark, and with freshening
southwesterly winds forecast, this may cause some flooding, especially along
parts of the South West coast.
Tonight’s full moon is also notable for rising to its greatest height in the
night sky for the entire year, lying almost overhead at midnight. This is
because we are approaching the winter solstice, on December 21, and thanks to
the tilt of the Earth the Moon appears at its highest, as the Sun is at its
Another astronomical treat that could be seen tonight and for the next two
nights is the annual Geminid meteor shower, one of the year’s best displays of
shooting stars. Up to 100 meteors an hour can fly across the sky. The meteors,
which are easy to spot with the naked eye, appear to shoot out from the
constellation Gemini, hence their name, but they can be seen all over the sky.
However, with a full moon so bright, the best place to look is away from the
Meteor showers happen when the Earth passes through clouds of debris shed
from comets. As the tiny fragments smash into the Earth’s upper atmosphere at
about 100,000mph, they burn up in streaks of light.
For reasons that are not understood, the Geminid meteor showers are tending
to grow stronger each year.
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