December Perigee Moon

dec21-perigee-moon   The Moon reaches perigee, (minimum distance from Earth), this month on Monday December 21st. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 28.88 Earth diameters (368,417 km or 228,924 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*


   
   
   The 11-day old waxing gibbous Moon rises a couple of hours before sunset.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   *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?”

   
   
   
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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