December Moon at Apogee

5dec-apogee-moon   The Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), this month on Saturday December 5th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.73 Earth diameters (404,800 km or 251,531 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*

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

Read this very informative article about the Earth-Moon system and their orbital motions, written by Joe Hanson. “Do We Orbit the Moon?”


   
   The 24-day old waning crescent Moon rises a couple of hours before the Sun rises and currently is passing by the location of three planets and a comet.

   
   
   

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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