Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Forward... The Moon
Forward... The Moon
Wed, 15 Dec 1999 10:57:40 -0500
A pre-millennial event of some note; since there are no unplanned
moments in nature, this one could be a reminder of how grand
nature's plan can appear to us. It is especially cool for all you
with wide-eyed young kids at home as well as in your units (and a
few who just must be interested in staring at the sky). All I can
say is it had better not be cloudy next week! This year will be
the first full moon to occur this century on the winter solstice,
Dec.22, commonly called the first day of winter, since a full
moon on the winter solstice occurred in conjunction with a lunar
perigee (point in the moon's orbit that is closest to Earth). The
moon will appear about 14% larger than it does at apogee (the
point in it's elliptical orbit that is farthest from the Earth.
Since the Earth is also several million miles closer to the sun
at this time of the year than in the summer, sunlight striking
the moon is about 7% stronger, making it brighter. Also, this
will be the closest perigee of the Moon of the year since the
moon's orbit is constantly deforming. If the weather is clear and
there is a snow cover where you live, it is believed that even
car headlights will be superfluous.
On December 21st, 1866 the Lakota Sioux took advantage of this
combination of occurrences and staged a devastating retaliatory
ambush on soldiers in the Wyoming Territory. In laymen's terms it
will be a super bright full moon, much more than the usual AND it
hasn't happened this way for 133 years!
Our ancestors 133 years ago saw this. Our descendants 100
or so years from now will see this again. Remember, this will
happen December 22, 1999.
George F. Smith
PO Box 1071
Knoxville TN 37901