Last Saturday night, the moon rose larger than usual over our Osage County farm. This so-called perigee moon is named for the point in its elliptical orbit where it is closest to the earth (the opposite end is the apogee). Since the moon is closer to the earth, it appears larger, and brighter than usual.
We watched the moon rise through our pine grove as the sun was going down. It didn’t occur to me to run for the camera until the perigee moon was much higher in the sky. The light from that moon was sufficient to see the animals out on the pasture, but not sufficient for me to read the dials on my camera to shorten the exposure sufficiently to capture the crater shadows.
The perigee occurs monthly, but for the moon to be full at the same time makes it a special event. This special moon looks most spectacular as earth’s eccentric companion pulls from the horizon, but January 10th's perigee moon, the largest-looking full moon for 2009 was breathtaking all night.
Click here for more photos of the perigee full moon.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.