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The moon appeared 20 percent larger than usual in Qatar last night as it was at its nearest point to the earth, according to a Qatari astronomer.

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I ran to Mt. Hawk at 5:01 PM, Saturday night, January 10th, to witness what NASA touted as the "biggest and brightest one of 2009". The NASA statement continued saying, this month's full moon will appear about 14 percent bigger in our sky and 30 percent brighter than some other full moons during 2009. This was because Saturday's moon was at perigee, the closest point to earth's orbit.
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When last month's full Moon rose over Florida, onlooker Raquel Stanton of Cocoa Beach realised that something was up.
Like millions of others around the world, she had witnessed the biggest full Moon of 2008--a "perigee Moon," 14% wider and 30% brighter than lesser Moons she had seen before.

Alert: It's about to happen again.

This Saturday night, Jan. 10th, another perigee Moon is coming. It's the biggest full Moon of 2009, almost identical to the one that impressed onlookers in Dec. 2008.

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The International Year of Astronomy will begin with Mercury and Jupiter next to each other low in the southwest shortly after sunset. Far to their upper left (south) will be Venus, a brilliant "evening star" dominating the southwestern sky. Saturn will rise in the east around midnight.

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January 2009

 



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The planet Mercury is at its greatest elongation 19 degrees east of the sun on the 4th January, 2009.
Look to the west, after sunset.

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Night sky highlights in the new year
Jan. 3: Quadrantid Meteors.  Circle this date on your calendar, for on this morning a strong display of Quadrantid meteors is possible for North America.  In the United States and Canada, western observers are favored, for maximum activity is expected within a few hours of 5 a.m. PST.  Recognised as a rich, but elusive shower, the "Quads" at greatest activity are capable of producing anywhere from 15 to perhaps 120 shower members per hour.

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Near Earth Objects

o Date  :  Miss Distance : Rel Velocity:  Diameter   : Object Name
o  2009-Jan-02 : 03.4 LD : 25.3 km/s : 023 m - 051 m : (2008 YC29)
o  2009-Jan-03 : 27.3 LD : 20.2 km/s : 250 m - 550 m : (2008 WQ63)
o  2009-Jan-03 : 69.3 LD : 27.3 km/s : 009 m - 020 m : (2001 WJ4)
o  2009-Jan-03 : 06.2 LD : 25.2 km/s : 024 m - 053 m : (2008 YY32)
o  2009-Jan-04 : 03.6 LD : 24.6 km/s : 031 m - 070 m : (2008 YG30)
o  2009-Jan-05 : 47.2 LD : 24.6 km/s : 032 m - 071 m : (2005 YO128)
o  2009-Jan-09 : 02.7 LD : 26.1 km/s : 016 m - 035 m : (2008 YV32)
o  2009-Jan-11 : 09.7 LD : 24.1 km/s : 041 m - 091 m : (2008 YF29)
o  2009-Jan-12 : 27.3 LD : 24.4 km/s : 035 m - 077 m : (2008 YF30)
o  2009-Jan-14 : 49.2 LD : 18.7 km/s : 480 m - 1.1km : (2008 QT3)
o  2009-Jan-15 : 07.7 LD : 22.8 km/s : 075 m - 170 m : (2002 AO11)
o  2009-Jan-17 : 11.3 LD : 17.6 km/s : 800 m - 1.8km : 136849 (1998 CS1)
o  2009-Jan-18 : 58.2 LD : 21.5 km/s : 130 m - 300 m : (1993 VD)
o  2009-Jan-19 : 76.2 LD : 20.0 km/s : 270 m - 600 m : (2008 TD27)
o  2009-Jan-24 : 71.2 LD : 21.9 km/s : 110 m - 240 m : (2008 CG)
o  2009-Jan-25 : 57.4 LD : 24.2 km/s : 038 m - 085 m : (2006 CW9)
o  2009-Jan-27 : 28.3 LD : 22.9 km/s : 071 m - 160 m : (2007 UY1)
o  2009-Jan-28 : 43.2 LD : 21.0 km/s : 170 m - 380 m : (2008 YE30)
o  2009-Jan-30 : 70.0 LD : 23.6 km/s : 051 m - 110 m : (2007 CL26)


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