The Moon reaches perigee, (minimum distance from Earth), this month on Monday November 14th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 27.95 Earth diameters (356,509 km or 221,524 miles) from the Earth.
The Moon reaches perigee Monday at 11:30 UT (5:30 am CST) and this is about 2 hours before it will be at full Moon phase at 13:52 UT, (7:52 am CST November 14th). Since the full Moon is this close to its closest to the Earth for this orbit the full Moon could be considered one of the ‘Super Moons’ this year. In fact this is the closest one for this year and according to records the closest full Moon in the past 30 years.
This animated graphic shows the full Moons of 2016. Are you able to see a difference in the sizes?
Read more about the idea of a super Moon or super mini-Moon in a previous posting.
Does our Moon actually go around the Earth as the first 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?”
On the day of the lunar perigee the full Moon rises at around sunset local time and is setting at sunrise the following morning.