December Apogee Moon

12dec-apogee   The waning gibbous Moon reaches apogee this month on Friday December 12th at 23 UT (5 pm CST). At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.72 Earth diameters (405,581 km or 252,016 miles) from the Earth.
    Our Moon orbits around the Sun with the Earth and from our perspective on the Earth the Moon appears to circle around the Earth. However in reality the Moon orbits the Sun together with the Earth*.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

   The Moon rises before midnight local time and is more or less centered between Jupiter and the star Regulus in Leo the Lion. With a pair of 10×50 binoculars the three just barely all fit within the field of view.

   *Click here to read my 2006 Scope on the Sky column “The Real Shape of the Moon’s Orbit”. (PDF)

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

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