New Year’s first full moon was seen on January 15th on the eastern skies and it was also the smallest full moon. The moon was almost 30,000 miles away from earth, the reason behind it being a mini moon.
The size of the moon that we see through the naked eye is determined by the angle at which the sun’s light is reflected from the surface of the moon in its orbit around the earth.
We call it ‘New Moon’ when the moon comes in the direct path of the sun. Then it constantly keeps on changing shape as it orbits the earth.
When it completes the first quarter of the distance around the Earth, it is called as the ‘first quarter’ moon. And during the last quarter of the orbit it is called the ‘last quarter’ moon.
During the first quarter the moon lights up from the right side and during the last quarter from the left side.
Contrasting the mini moon we have the ‘super moon’ and this is year it is going to be seen on August 10, 2014.
The moon will at the least distance from the Earth at this point of time. However, you can distinguish between the sizes of both the moons only when they are juxtaposed and are captured with a camera equipped on a telescope.
Both the moons just differ 14 percent in size and the difference cannot be seen with the naked eye.
There is another phenomenon known as the ‘moon illusion’ in which people viewing the moon on the horizon find it bigger as compared to when the moon is viewed when it is overhead.