Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science
That is 10:38 a.m. in the central U.S. Every full moon takes place at the same instant for everyone all around the world – but your clock time for the full moon varies by your time zone.
To look full to us, the moon has to be opposite the sun. That moment when it’s most opposite the sun for the month marks the instant of full moon – and that instant has to come at different hours on the clock, all around the globe.
For the Hawaiian Islands, for example, the moon reaches the crest of its full phase around sunrise this morning. At this same full moon instant, it’s high noon today in central South America, sunset in the Mediterranean and midnight in China. Still, no matter where you live, watch for the full-looking moon to shine from dusk till dawn.
Remember that – at every instant, like at the instant of today’s full moon – the globe of Earth is always half-illuminated by sunlight and half-engulfed in shadow. Earth has a dayside and a night side. At any moment, there is always a sunrise and sunset somewhere on Earth. Around now, a full moon will shine in the east at sundown – for all parts of Earth.
Astronomers use Universal Time use as their standard. It corresponds to standard clock time at the prime meridian of 0 degrees longitude, which runs through Greenwich, England.
The full moon for February 28, 2010 comes 16:38 Universal Time (11:38 Eastern Time; 10:38 Central Time; 9:38 Mountain Time; 8:38 Pacific Time)
Photo credit: alicepopkorn
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Written by Bruce McClure