Mini Moon Rise

Much ado has been made over the last year or so about so-called “supermoons”, where the full moon appears slightly larger  because it is at the near point of its orbit. Last night’s full moon must be a ‘minimoon’ because it occurred when the moon was very near the farthest point in its orbit. How big a difference is the apparent size? Not much… less than 10%. I will try to get a photo of the next ‘supermoon’ next September 27th  to compare.

The Finger Lakes region has enjoyed warmer days and the snow pack is dwindling. The cold nights refreeze the surface of the snow making a shiny glaze, adding to the beauty of the rising moon.

Moon rise over snow.

Cheshire Cat Conjunction

For much of the winter Mars has held position in the evening sky, setting around 8 pm. At the same time bright Venus has been moving higher in the western sky, climbing out of the sunset twilight and passing Mars in February. On the 21st of February Mars and Venus were separated by less than half a degree, a close conjunction. The day before the pair were joined by a very thin crescent moon, making a very photogenic grouping in the night sky. The pairing of Venus and the dimmer Mars looked to many like eyes over a smile- Alice’s Cheshire Cat, nearly invisible except it’s smile.

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