Wolf Moon Over NWS Northern Indiana

 

Wolf Moon January 29th, 2010
 ...Brightest Moon of 2010 Over NWS Northern Indiana...

 Did the moon seem especially big and bright on the evening of January 29th, 2010? Well if you thought it did, you would be correct! The full moon that occurred on January 29th is known as a Wolf Moon. It is not called this because of a popular book and movie series, but it does get its name because of wolves. The name is attributed by many to the Native Americans, who believed that hungry wolves would howl at the full moon on cold, clear winter nights. The first full moon of January has been named a Wolf Moon because of this story.

But why was it so bright and big? The moon does not orbit the Earth in a perfect circle, but rather in an ellipse. This means that one side of the orbit is closer to the Earth than the other (by about 50,000 km). During just a few times each year, the moon is full when it is at its closest point to the Earth (called its perigee). This makes the moon appear bigger and brighter to those of us fortunate enough to have clear skies and witness it. According to some, the full moon on January 29th was about 30 percent brighter and 14 percent bigger than "normal" full moons. It will turn out to be the brightness full moon of 2010.

For those who were fortunate to view this phenomena, you might have also noticed a small but bright looking reddish feature to the left of the moon.  This was actually the planet Mars. According to spaceweather.com, Mars looks bigger through a telescope now than during any period between 2008 and 2014.

Below are several photographs taken of the bright Wolf Moon by amateur photographer and NWS Northern Indiana Meteorologist Sam Lashley. These pictures were taken between 7:00 pm EST and 8:00 pm EST on the evening of January 29th, 2010. Hover over each picture for a brief description and click on each image for a larger picture.

This story compiled from data at www.spaceweather.com and www.space.com.  
Story written by Sam Lashley

 

 

Series of photographs from January 29th, 2010 Wolf Moon over NWS Northern Indiana
Wolf Moon behind NWS Northern Indiana WSR-88D. Jet contrails illuminated by bright moon. Wolf Moon behind NWS Northern Indiana WSR-88D. The planet Mars can be seen to the left of the bright Wolf Moon. Wolf Moon behind NWS Northern Indiana WSR-88D. The planet Mars can be seen to the left of the bright Wolf Moon.
 Wolf Moon directly behind radome of NWS Northern Indiana WSR-88D. The planet Mars can be seen directly to the left of the radome.  Wolf Moon behind NWS Northern Indiana WSR-88D.  Wolf Moon over top of NWS Northern Indiana office.
 Wolf Moon directly over NWS Northern Indiana office. WSR-88D radar to the left.  Wolf Moon directly over NWS Northern Indiana office. WSR-88D radar to the left.  Wolf Moon directly over NWS Northern Indiana office. WSR-88D radar to the left.
 Close up image of bright Wolf Moon.  Close up image of bright Wolf Moon.  Close up image of bright Wolf Moon.
 Silhouette of KIWX WSR-88D radar with Wolf Moon in background  KIWX WSR-88D radar with Wolf Moon in background on right and planet Mars just to left of radome.  Close up picture of KIWX WSR-88D radar with Wolf Moon in background on right and planet Mars just to left of radome.
 

  



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