-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Mon, 13 Dec 1999 20:32:41 -0800

This year the Winter Solstice, December 22 -- the longest night of the
year, will be extremely special. This is because the solstice will coincide
with a Full Moon. Ah, but not just any Full Moon. The Moon will be within a
few hours of its perigee, its closest point to the Earth. This will make
the Moon appear to be about 14% bigger than usual. However, it is also only
ten days from the Earth's perihelion, its closest point to the Sun. Since
the Moon shines with reflected sunlight, then the moon will appear 7%
brighter than usual.

These events occurring together are extremely rare. This is probably the
biggest, brightest moon of the Millennium as well as its last. That makes
it a rare night indeed so check with your local astronomy clubs and pagan
centers to find out what special events are planned. Whatever you do, get
out and look at the sky. You will never see a Moon like this again, even if
the world does not end seven days later.

December 22
Winter solstice is at 2:44 a.m. EST
The moon is at perigee (221,614 miles from Earth), 5:55 a.m. EST
Full moon is at 12:31 p.m. EST


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