Bright Moon and Mars Put On A Show–By: Mr. Piniat

If you looked up to the sky this weekend you might have noticed something a little different. The sky was a whole lot brighter as the Sun set and the Moon got a chance to shine. On Friday night, the Moon was actually the biggest and brightest it will be all year long. In December, we got a chance to see a “Blue Moon.” January 29th gave us a chance to see a “Wolf Moon!” In order for a wolf moon to occur 2 conditions must be met. First, the Moon must reach its closest position to Earth as it completes it’s egg-shaped orbit. This took place at 4:04am as the Moon reached its closest position of only 221,577 miles to Earth. Also, the Moon must be Full when this happens. Both of these conditions were met this weekend and we were treated to a very bright show. The Moon appeared 30% brighter and 14% larger than it will at any other time throughout 2010!

In addition to our bright Moon, Mars also had a part in the night’s show. Mars was just 61 million miles away from Earth this weekend which allowed it to appear as a bright orange star right next to the moon. See if you can find Mars in the picture I took of the Moon this weekend!

Discussion Questions:

1. Did you get a chance to see the Moon this weekend? Did you notice that it appeared much bigger and brighter in the night’s sky? What did you think?

2. Have you had the chance to observe space objects through a telescope? Share some of your stories about what you saw.



~ by jpiniat on January 31, 2010.

9 Responses to “Bright Moon and Mars Put On A Show–By: Mr. Piniat”

  1. I never knew that the moon could be so bright and big. This article was very interesting. Good job. I didn’t get to see the moon this weekend, but I though this was amazing. I also have seen the moon at my lake house with my telescope that I got for Christmas. I saw all of the mares. It was cool.

  2. I wish I had known this before, I would have loved to see it! Once, I saw the moon with a telescope, it was so cool! I could see craters and everything! By the way, this was a cool article, I loved astronomy!

  3. I did get a chance to see the moon over the weekend. I thought it was tootally AWESOME! It was so full and appeared so close to the ground. It was like you could touch it! I asked my Mom about the moon and she said ” it looks so close to the ground.” I have had a chance to observe space through a telescope. I was at a friend house and he asked if I wanted to look at space through a telescope and I said yes. I saw the moon and all of it’s crators. I also had a chance to go to a observatory, but I was sick the day of the trip. This was a good article. I always have been intrested in the moon. It always has been an oddity to me. It found it intresting that they call it a “Wolf Moon”

  4. I did not get to see the moon. However, it was very bright in my bedroom when I tried to go to sleep. I have used an telescope to see things in space. Once when I was little my neighbors had a telescope. One night I went to their house and there was a bright orange moon. We went outside and used the telescope to get a closer look. It was very large but, I cant remember it well since I was younger when this happened. What I do remember is that the moon had some craters I could see but I couldnt see many.

  5. I actually did get to see the moon. What happened was that my family was going to a restaurent and my dad was the first one to notice the moon. We said that it was the most probebly brightest moon. When I went to school on Monday I found out that we were correct and I told my family. They were also excited. I love astronomy and I love to learn new things. This was very surprising. Unfortunatley I don’t own a telescope so I couldn’t really observe space objects. However one night I saw Venus from my car and I was very excited. I can’t wait to observe more space objects!

  6. I did get to see the moon. I was looking out of my bedroom window and I saw it. My dad had told me about it and I got very excited. I did not notice that it was bigger but I did notice that it was a lot brighter than usual. I thought that it was an amazing thing. I also wondered whether it had happened before in my lifetime and if it had, why I hadn’t noticed it before. Sadly, I do not own a telescope but I have always thought that it would be interesting to view the moon and other space objects using a telescope.

  7. I didn’t get to see the moon. I think that from the picture it would be a really cool thing to see. I have looked through a telescope in the summer and I have seen how bright stars really are. This was a really good article and I learned alot abot the bright moon.

  8. I remember that during that weekend my mom was bringing in the groceries and told me and my sister to go out and look at the moon. When I did I was blown away. It looked a little like your picture but when I saw it, it had a couple of inner rings around the moon that were rainbow. I cant believe how bright the one ring around the moon in your picture is. I agree when you said that the moon was really bright and close to the ground because I could notice that just by looking at it. At my beach house I have tried to look at the moon through a telescope but the view wasn’t lined up right so it wasn’t working. 😦

    PS I didn’t see mars and I cant see it in your picture either.??????????

  9. Hey Mr. Piniat!!!!!! We very much enjoyed your article!!! It was very interesting!!!! I never knew that!!!! We were wondering, could we interview you for an article on the blog?? We think it would be very interesting and attract more viewers to the site. Thank you very much!!! By the way, we are soooo going to beat you on Friday!!!! Have a nice day!!!!

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