Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Perigee, Apogee and 'Gee... Look at that MOON!'

The Blue Moon that sailed overhead at the beginning of this month has been replaced by January's own full moon. All full moons have names -- the northern tribes of Native American's call this one the Wolf Moon. Why? Quite probably because January is a hungry month, for people living off the land, for the deer struggling to find food in the snow, and for the wolves, also hungry and hunting hard. It was most likely a good month to hear wolves howling, possibly closer to the camps than one might consider ideal.

We've certainly got a howling wolf pack in the area, and if you time it just right, so you are outside after dark at just the right moment, you can listen to them howling. It's amazing, under the full moon, to hear wolf music from the hill. Winter full moons are incredible all by themselves, their bright light reflecting back off the snow until you can read by the light outside. Whoever said that night was dark has never been out of doors in a Canadian wilderness area under a full moon.

Bright doesn't begin to describe it. But then, this particular moon is particularly big, and bright. Here's why.

The moon is, on average, 238,855 miles (384,400 km) from Earth. The moon's orbit around Earth – which causes it to go through all its phases once every 29.5 days – is not a perfect circle, but rather an ellipse. One side of the orbit is 31,070 miles (50,000 km) closer than the other.

So in each orbit, the moon reaches this closest point to us, called perigee. Once or twice a year - like now - perigee coincides with a full moon making the moon bigger and brighter than any other full moons during the year.

The scientists tell us it will be about 14 percent wider and 30 percent brighter than lesser full Moons of the year. Go ahead, run out with a ruler, and measure it.

For planet watchers and sci fi fans, MARS is just to the left of the moon tonight. Look for the reddish, star-like object. There are really only two biggish, reddish 'stars' in the winter sky. One is Betelgeuse, the 'armpit' of Orion. The other is Mars. And the good news is that you don't have to wait until the small hours of the morning to see them both, since they are currently both visible together. The other good news -- Orion is bright enough that you can pick out the major stars of this constellation DESPITE the fierce competition provided by the moon's bright light.

So, out you go, look at the sky. And keep an ear open for the music in the hills.

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