The light of the MOON woke me up around midnightDecember 11/12. It was so bright I decided to get up and go outdoors to look at the moon itself. It was huge and clear and seemed brighter than usual. I should definitely go out and look at bright moons more often. According to the National Geographic’s Web site, the full moon of December 12, 2008 is the biggest and brightest full moon of 2008. It appears about 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than the other full moons seen this year. That’s because it’s at perigee — the nearest it gets to Earth during its egg-shaped orbit around our planet. Furthermore, this is the closest lunar perigee since 1993 — 221,560 miles (356,566 km) from Earth. According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, the moon was scheduled to be full the morning of December 12 at 11:38 a.m., so I was looking at the almost full moon that rose at 2:56 p.m. on December 11 and would set at 7:31 a.m. Dec 12 — a waxing gibbous with 98 percent of the moon’s visible disk illuminated, which was impressive enough for me.

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