January Perigee Moon

jan15-perigee-moon   The Moon reaches perigee, (minimum distance from Earth), this month on Friday January 15th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 28.9 Earth diameters (369,619 km or 229,670 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 on graphic to see it larger
   
   
   The 6-day old waxing crescent Moon is very visible over the southwest horizon a couple of hours before sunset local time.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   *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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