December Moon at Apogee

   Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), on Tuesday December 19th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 32.38 Earth diameters (406,603 km or 252,651 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 apogee the 1.7-day old very thin waxing crescent Moon will be over the southwestern horizon at around sunset local time. Not that it will be visible Dwarf Planet Pluto is a couple of degrees to the left from the Moon.

*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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