|Full Moon January 2, 2018 ⬅︎|
| The Full Moon is the middle of the 29.5 day lunar cycle in which the moon revolves the earth. In this phase, the moon and sun appear opposite each other in earth's sky.
The moon rises when the sun sets and sets when the sun rises. Because the moon and sun are on opposites sides in earth's sky, the moon is fully illuminated and very bright.
At a Full Moon, usually the moon is a bit higher or lower than the shadow that is cast by earth into space. But sometimes the moon passes directly into the shadow causing it to appear a deep red color for a few hours -- a lunar eclipse!
A Full Moon is a poor time for stargazing because the bright moon makes it hard to see faint objects through binoculars or telescopes. Even the moon is not good to view since it has few shadows on its surface to provide contrast.
After a Full Moon, the moon will rise about an hour later each night. It will now be moving back towards the sun in our sky and the lit part will decrease in size, or wane. But since it is still over 50% illuminated, it is called gibbous.
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