aNewDomain.net — In December 2014 the Earth saw the smallest Full Moon of 2013. Now comes an encore. Mini Moon 2014 is here, viewable January 15, 2014. It’s the smallest Full Moon of 2014 from a visual standpoint.
Maybe you’re wondering about the relationship of the Mini Moon of 2014 to the Super Moon of 2012. Mini Moon is the apogee — actually it is the Moon’s second-most-distant point from the Earth for the year — as opposed to the perigee we experienced with the Super Moon.
Mini Moon 2014 shows up tonight, January 15, at 11:52 PM EST. That’s 4:52 a.m. UT (Universal Time), January 16. That’s just about 3 hours after it reaches its apogee of 406,536 kms distance from the Earth. That’s a close shave, moonwatchers say of Mini Moon 2014. A Mini Moon hasn’t shown up that close to the apogee since 1994 — and it won’t do it again until May 13, 2052.
Here’s an excerpt from Space.com on the Mini Moon.
As the spherical moon moves in its orbit around the earth, the sun lights it from various angles. Four of the moon’s positions are particularly important because they mark exact right angles from the sun’s position. When the moon lies directly between the sun and Earth, it is called ‘new moon.’ After it moves a quarter of the way around the Earth, it is called ‘first quarter’ and is lit exactly from its right side. Another quarter of the trip and it reaches ‘full moon’ directly opposite the sun in Earth’s sky, fully lit by the sun. Another quarter trip brings it to ‘last quarter,’ lit from the left side. It’s now in the home stretch, heading back to its starting point at ‘new moon.’ “
Image credit and source: Universe Today