Full wolf moon of '09, tonight Saturday January 10th
The biggest full moon of 2009, called a Full Wolf Moon, can been seen tonight in the sky, this Saturday January 10th as long as the skies are clear and there are no clouds. Look for it at sunset, rising in the east, as this January full moon will be the biggest and brightest of this year.
The Earth, sun, and moon are bound together by gravity and the moon makes a complete trip around the earth every 29.5 days.
But the orbit is not a perfect circle. One portion is about 31,000 miles (50,000 km) closer to our planet than the farthest part, so the moon's apparent size in the sky changes. Saturday night (Jan. 10) the moon will be at perigee, the closest point to us on this orbit.
The moon will appear to be about 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than other full moons we may have seen, and as a result the tides will be higher, because the Earth's oceans are pulled by the moon's gravity.
There may be too many clouds in some places to see the moon clearly however as many areas are experiencing snow and rain and that will infringe on your ability to see it.
NASA is quite excited about the perigee moon, as you might expect: "You can read a newspaper, ride a bike, write a letter, and at the same time count the stars overhead." (With all due respect to NASA, we would suggest not doing all of those things at the same time.) And tonight's forecast for much of the Northeast is for snow, according to weather.com, so it may be too cloudy to see the moon there.