[gardeners] Winter Soltice 99

Byron (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Wed, 8 Dec 1999 22:09:16 -0500

1999 Winter Solstice Moon -

This year will be the first full moon to occur on the 
winter solstice (Dec. 22, commonly called the first day
of winter) in 133 years. 

Since a full moon on the winter solstice occurred in 
conjunction with a lunar perigee (point in the moon's 
orbit that is closest to Earth) the moon will appear 
about 14% larger than it does at apogee (the point in 
it's elliptical orbit that is farthest from the Earth).

Since the Earth is also several million miles closer 
to the sun at this time of the year than in the summer,
sunlight striking the moon is about 7% stronger making 
it brighter.  

Also, this will be the closest perigee of the moon of 
the year since the moon's orbit is constantly deforming.

Given these conditions, and if the weather is clear and 
there is a snow cover where you live, it is believed 
that even car headlights will be superfluous at this time.

In laymen's terms, this will be a super-bright full moon, 
much more than usual and that hasn't happened this way for
133 years. Our ancestors 133 years ago saw this.  Our 
descendants 100 or so years from now will see this again.

So, party hearty by the light of the silvery moon.

Happy holidays!