On Sunday October 11th at 11:53 UT our Moon will be crossing the plane of the ecliptic moving north relative to the ecliptic. This is known as the ascending node, one of two intersections the Moon’s orbital path has with the ecliptic. The ecliptic is actually the Earth’s orbit and the Moon’s orbit is inclined about 6o from the ecliptic. So there are two node intersections, the ascending and descending nodes.
Less than 2 hours later, 13 UT, and still on the 11th, the Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth for that month). At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.86 Earth diameters (406,464 km or 252,565 miles) from the Earth.
Does our Moon actually go around the Earth as this graphic shows? 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*
Read this very informative article about the Earth-Moon system and their orbital motions, written by Joe Hanson. “Do We Orbit the Moon?”
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.