"The Closest and Biggest Full Moon of 2001!  and; How to Find the Valentine's Day Star"

Scheduled air date: 2001 Feb 05-11

This week's Full Moon—the closest to Earth of the year—will be nearly 31000 miles/49000km closer than the Full Moon of September—the farthest of the year.  Because it is closer, this Full Moon will appear both larger...

...and about 30% brighter than the Full Moon of September!
(Shown for mid-Northern latitudes around local midnight on the night of February 7th-8th.)

Betelgeuse, the brightest red star as seen from Earth, reaches its highest point in the nighttime sky at about 8:15pm on Valentine's Day (February 14).

Betelgeuse is an extremely large star, pulsating in size between about the equivalent of Mars' orbit, to that of Jupiter's!

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

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