April’s Perigee Moon is a ‘Super-Mini’ Moon

7apr-perigee_moon   The Moon reaches perigee, (minimum distance from Earth), this month on Thursday April 7th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 28.0 Earth diameters (357,163 km or 221,931 miles) from the Earth.
   Approximately 6 hours earlier, 11:24 UT (6:24 am CDT) the Moon was at its new phase. And at the distance between the Earth and Moon this new Moon could be called a ‘Super-Mini Moon’ as it is the second closest perigee Moon this year. The closest and the actual ‘Super-Mini Moon’ will be the waxing gibbous Moon of November when at perigee the Moon will be 27.95 Earth diameters 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 very thin 2-day old waxing crescent Moon is visible over the southwest horizon an hour or so after 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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