May Moon at Apogee

   Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), on Sunday May 6th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.70 Earth diameters (404,500 km or 251,346 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 t see it larger   On the day of the apogee the 20-day old waning gibbous Moon will be over the southern horizon at around sunrise local time and within about 3o from the ‘red planet’ Mars.

*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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