The Spider Project

Full moon, December 22, 1999
Cologne, Germany
This year will be the first full moon for 133 years to occur on the winter solstice, Dec. 22, the first day of winter. Since a full moon on the winter solstice occurs in conjunction with a lunar perigee (the point in the moon's orbit that is closest to the 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, sunlight striking the moon is about 7% stronger, making it brighter. This will also be the Moon's closest perigee this year since its orbit is constantly deforming.

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.
- Hanna Arnold

The Spider Project is a work in progress Home