Check out the full moon this evening–it will be a lot bigger and brighter than usual. This happens because the moon has an elliptical orbit around the Earth and right now it is approaching perigree – its closest point in the orbit – about 50,000 km closer and the Nasa prediction for tonight is a 14 % bigger and 30 % brighter moon.
So what makes tonight special? It’s a full moon and “the full Moon of March 19th occurs less than one hour away from perigee –a near-perfect coincidence that happens only every 18 years or so,” says Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.
Tonight’s weather forecast is for clear skies so we should be in luck. The best time to view the moon will be around sunset, looking east. There’s an illusion during a low-hanging moon that makes it seem even larger when seen behind trees and buildings. Here on the Sunshine Coast, a great location would be from the parking area of the Sechelt Golf Course, looking east across Sechelt Inlet.
Happy viewing… but no howling!!