August Moon at Perigee

   The Moon reaches perigee, (minimum distance from Earth), this month on Monday August 22nd. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 28.77 Earth diameters (367,050 km or 228,074 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*


   On the day of the lunar perigee the 19.6-day old waning gibbous Moon rises a couple of hours before midnight and is over the southern horizon at sunrise the following morning. Interestingly the Moon is sort of surrounded by planets – both kinds.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   *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?”

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to go to bobs-spaces.

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