Christmas Eve Asteroid & Christmas Full Moon

El Nino has been all the buzz lately in weather news. It’s always fascinating that a system that originates near the equator is able to impact weather and climate across the globe. If you’re a fan of having a white Christmas, then this El Nino system is no friend of yours. About once every five years, we get a break from our frigid winters here in Michigan. So what will we look at this Christmas when we pull back the curtains to reveal a grass covered lawn? Don’t fret, friends; we here at Longway Planetarium have you covered.

On Christmas Eve, an asteroid is going to be zipping over your head. Unfortunately, it is going to be incredibly difficult to see even with a large telescope, but take our word for it; it’s there. It’s about half a mile across and there’s been talk in the public about its gravitational pull causing some volcanoes to erupt and earthquakes to shift. Don’t lose sleep over it (then Santa wouldn’t come), this asteroid is passing by at about 28 times the distance to the moon so its gravitational effect will be quite small indeed.

If that’s not enough for you, Christmas night this year will be accompanied by a full moon. So while we may not have a white Christmas on the ground, we will have a brilliantly white Christmas in the sky.

Keep looking up,
Buddy Stark
Manager of Longway Planetarium

Asteroid - Longway Planetarium
Full Moon - Longway Planetarium

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