The Moon doth shine . . .

Tonight’s full moon will be the brightest in Britain for nearly 19 years as it reaches its highest point in the sky since 1986.
The moon will appear to be overhead turning night almost into day.
And amazingly, from the north of Scotland, it will spend more than 22 hours in the sky.
It will not be so high in the UK sky again until 2023.
The full moon is always high in December because it occupies roughly the same spot in the heavens that the sun does in mid summer.
Both bodies appear to travel along an imaginary line through the zodiac which astronomers call the ecliptic.
But the moon’s orbit is tilted to the ecliptic and this will send it soaring to an altitude of 68 degrees at around midnight.
Robin Scagell. Vice President of the Society for Popular Astronomy, said: “The Moon will seem to be virtually overhead and the extra height will make it look particularly brilliant.
“It’s just like the nursery rhyme – the Moon might not really be as bright as day, but it will be as brilliant as we ever see it.”
Robin added: “Photographers using time exposures to capture the landscape will find it appears in full colour rather than the usual
grey.”

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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