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Look! Up in the sky!

It’s a huge ass moon!

No, seriously. Tonight’s moon is a “perigee moon” — meaning the moon’s squashed orbit brings it closer to us than it will be for any other full moon during 2010. So it looks about 14% wider and 30% brighter than usual.

And that is a total no shit. We drove home tonight sandwiched between two of the spookiest-looking rainstorms I’ve ever seen — one over the Channel and moving out, one over the hills and moving in. And we got home just in time to see THIS thing hanging over our back garden.

I’ve honestly never seen the moon look so huge and round and close to the earth. I know the photo doesn’t mean much, but you’ve got to go outside and see this thing for yourself, if your local conditions are at all favorable.

Good weekend, everyone!


Comment from David Gillies
Time: January 29, 2010, 6:30 pm

It’s already visible in the evening sky, even though we’ve got two hours until nautical twilight.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: January 29, 2010, 7:11 pm

Actually, THIS is a huge ass moon:


Your pic is just a lovely lunar cycle. Sorry about the eye bleach requirement (not), but I AM a smartass after all….

BTW, if you see David Naughton hanging around your house tonight, lock the doors……. 😉

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 29, 2010, 7:17 pm

Who’s David Naughton? A lover of big butts, p’raps?

Yeah, I was going to go for a moon pun, but I knew I could count on you, Scoob.

Oh! I was sitting in the car at the supermarket today, reading the newspaper and waiting for Uncle B to come back from the post office, and he gets in the car and says, “that was your friend Tom Baker who just walked by.”

And I say, “I don’t have any friends named Tom Baker.”

And he says, “Doctor Who?”

Whoa! Really? Of course, I hated Doctor Who, but. Well.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: January 29, 2010, 7:31 pm

*groaning*…. An American Werewolf in London. He was the lead that had a bad habit of “Sharing the hair of the dog”, so to speak….

lousy joke when you have to explain it…..

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 29, 2010, 8:01 pm

Heh. I haven’t seen that since it came out, fer criyi.

HOLY SHIT that thing is impressive. We were just out looking at the moon with Uncle B’s image stabilized binoculars. I’ve never seen it look so three-dimensional.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: January 29, 2010, 8:12 pm

Hmm, I might have to break out my binoculars tonight when i get home.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: January 29, 2010, 8:36 pm

I blame global warming and George Bush….

Comment from Dawn
Time: January 29, 2010, 8:50 pm

I was wondering what that was. I walked outside last night and it looked like daylight with the street lights and moon reflecting off the snow.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 29, 2010, 9:22 pm

With a telephoto lens.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: January 29, 2010, 9:30 pm

Um… wouldn’t that be a “perigee moon”?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 29, 2010, 9:54 pm

Oh, for FUCK’S sake! Did I do that here, too? I typo’d it on my Facebook page, too, and some smartass came along and corrected me.

Not that you’re a smartass, jw. I’ve just got a person or two on my FB list that I didn’t really want to put there.

Yeah. Perigee. As in apogee and perigee.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 29, 2010, 9:56 pm

Um, and thanks. Fixed.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: January 29, 2010, 10:45 pm

When I read it, I thought “Man, have I been saying it wrong all these years? (remembering with a shudder how I pronounced hors d’eouvres* when I was 15; I don’t come from a people who talk about hors d’eouvres—or canapés—much).

* WHORES duh VORZ, if you must know.

Comment from Rustbucket
Time: January 29, 2010, 11:23 pm

It’s snowing like a bitch here in NC. Calling for 6-8 inches of the stuff ‘fore tomorrow night. All things being equal, I’d rather be seeing the big-ass moon…the one in the sky. ‘Cause then I wouldn’t be having to pull a 12-hour overnight shift puttin’ chains on the Po-leece cars here in town.
Y’all know if’n it snows an inch here, the driving populace loses their minds. It makes for good, cheap entertainment, though.

Comment from Lipstick
Time: January 30, 2010, 1:30 am

Ooo, thanks for reminding me to go out and look at the moon.

Here in Las Vegas it’s misty out tonight, but the moon looks bright. Not bigger than usual, but much brighter with a prominent star to the left of it.

Comment from Allen
Time: January 30, 2010, 3:46 am

Yes indeed the moon… On nights like these I like to take a ride on my horse. I brought along my wolf pup just for the howls. A touch of snow made it perfect.

As my lady put it: release the fools.

By the way, so I’m drying the horses, and the wolf pup is in the barn. I go to dry him with a towel and he’s terrified. That damn fool is death to coyotes, and he fears the towel, pbfttt!

Comment from David Gillies
Time: January 30, 2010, 4:06 am

It clouded over earlier as I headed out to the bar around 7pm (1 am GMT). Grr. But later it cleared up beautifully. I got the entire complement of the bar out on the street with the Moon, and Mars (not a star*, Lipstick) alongside it, in the zenith as it went through fully-full. Beautiful. You coulld have read a newspaper in the moonlight without benefit of artificial lighting. And it’s worth bearing in mind that the moon is dark. It has a much lower albedo than the Earth (regolith basically looks like the ash in your barbecue grill, which is a lot less shiny than clouds.) If the Moon had the same albedo as Earth it would probably be annoying rather than beautiful.

* Procyon in Canis Minor was the nearest bright star, with Castor and Pollux in Gemini nearby. Sirius in Canis Major, then Orion should have been visible. The Moon’s in Cancer right now.

Comment from Skandia
Time: January 30, 2010, 4:33 am

Five degrees F ambient air temp. Wind out of the west at 8mph. Wind chill minus 8 degrees F. Partly cloudy.

Thanks, but I’ll take your word for it. Probably is a lovely sight,

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 30, 2010, 8:49 am

It was snowing like a bastard in Nashville when I talked to my dad last night. They expected five inches, which is pretty good for them.

And eight below zero in rural Rhode Island.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 30, 2010, 1:36 pm

I just got a spam with the subject line “Need real anti-fungal?” and it was a Viagra ad.

If you really needed an anti-fungal, wouldn’t it hack you off to be offered something other than an anti-fungal?

Also, does it worry you to think about fungussy men wandering around with blue steel erections?

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 30, 2010, 2:54 pm

Oh dear, looks like The Weasel’s been at the magic mushrooms again. Sorry!

Comment from Janna
Time: January 30, 2010, 7:31 pm

We’ve got a “state of emergency” in Oklahoma. 1 to 2 inches of ice, pretty to look at but hell on our trees and power lines. That was followed by 2 to 6 inches of snow. The snow clings to everything already covered with ice. Very heavy.
I’ve been hearing Crack/Swish as limbs break and fall from my massive old pecan trees. Haven’t hit the house…yet.

Damn, I hate winter.

I’ve been making the best of things…toasting marshmallows in the fireplace.
Can’t wait for next weekend…supposed to be in the 60’s.
Hope they’re right this time.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 30, 2010, 7:56 pm

Just got yourselves declared a national emergency. Got the email ten minutes ago.

Why I live on the South coast of England and have myself subscribed to the FEMA notification list is another question.

Comment from Janna
Time: January 30, 2010, 8:22 pm

I don’t WANT to be a national emergency, I want to be warm.
They gave us some warning this time, though, they canceled school on Wednesday evening, Thursday and Friday.
Stores were packed with folks getting food, candles and batteries etc.

I have one of the national weather service alert radios.
In tornado alley, it’s necessary. It only goes off if something wicked this way comes.
Winter storm is not as cardiac inducing as a tornado.
But it lasts a lot longer, and gives me something new to bitch about.
I’ve been told, I was BORN irritated.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 30, 2010, 8:44 pm

Let’s face it — being born is pretty fucking irritating. Apparently, I cried.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: January 30, 2010, 9:03 pm

What a cry-baby. Walk it off!

BTW: More red meat from the folks who brought you Climategate.

Comment from scubafreak
Time: January 31, 2010, 12:41 am

Most of the weather from California passed south of us here. However, it hit Durango head on. They just had their second major building collapse this morning from snow wieght

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: January 31, 2010, 6:20 am

Yeah, it was really fucking big on Friday night. I nearly drove off the road I was that transfixed. And last night it was pretty big, but very yellow too.

Comment from lauraw
Time: January 31, 2010, 11:13 am

Yup. With the snow on the ground, when the moon was nearly directly overhead it looked almost like daylight in my backyard that night.
Made bright beams of moonlight come through the bedroom curtains, too.

I didn’t know about the perigee thingy though.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: January 31, 2010, 11:59 pm

Five to ten p.m. and my digital thermometer says 23.5 °C (74 °F). Ha ha!

Points to ponder: why does Chopin’s 1st Piano Concerto wait until almost the four minute mark to introduce the piano itself?

Comment from surly ermine
Time: February 1, 2010, 12:29 pm

Ohh, and I told my kids the squished effect was just a bit of deformation after it bounced off the earth.

My wife is a science teacher. I tell her I have to balance her factual thinking with my creative thinking. She just calls it bullshit.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: February 1, 2010, 2:29 pm

I think your wife’s correct, but then again, every kid needs at least one BS parent to offset the sensible one. Or an aunt, as my children had–every bad thing they do I blame on my sister, which is great for both of us, as she doesn’t have kids and otherwise would have nobody to corrupt. Win-win.

Comment from Schlippy
Time: February 1, 2010, 5:12 pm

OT: Obama kills the space program HAHAHAHA.

I’m going over to comment at Space.com and ask them if they stupid liberals over there are done putting Obama’s book in the sidebar and talking about how evil the non-sciency Bushitler was.

Truly this year is ball dipping good.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: February 1, 2010, 6:21 pm

Maybe so, but it’s gonna take a while to fix it.

Comment from scubafreak
Time: February 2, 2010, 12:43 am

Maybe Sir Richard Branson will see a golden business opportunity and save us….

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