Monday, February 1, 2010

Wolf Moon

Knicks Bit By T-Wolves

This past weekend saw the fullest full moon of the year as the Earth's only natural satellite arrived at perigee, the celestial body's closest point to our planet. The Moon is 238,855 miles from Earth on average but this past weekend one side of the orbit was more than 31,000 miles closer than normal. That's about the distance of 16 round trips between New York and Indianapolis. According to Yahoo! (who gets their moon proximity info from spaceweather.com), the Moon was 14 percent wider and 30 percent brighter this weekend than it will be during any other full moon for the remainder of the year.

Of course, the moon doesn't really change at all. Although it is moving away from us, little by little. What really changes is the amount of light from the sun that reflects back our way. Such facts, though, haven't stopped people from ascribing all sorts of powers to the full moon. It causes madness (Jared Jeffries shooting three pointers all weekend?). It inspires violence (David Lee picking up another technical foul). It inhibits the talents of doctors and nurses (Al Harrington still felled by injury). It is a time for witches and assorted practitioners of the black arts to convene (Wizards edge Knicks in DC). And, lastly, the full moon is reputed to send animals into a frenzy and even change some men into manimals (Kevin Love nets career high and Timberwolves romp).

The native Americans referred to this first full moon of the new year as the Wolf Moon because it lit up the night sky brighter than any moon and made hunting for packs of wolves easier. After last night's dispiriting 112-91 loss to Kurt Rambis' Minnesota Timberwolves squad at the Target Center in Minneapolis, the Knicks might refer to this lunar occurrence as the Timber Wolf Moon.

(More to come...)

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