January Moon at Perigee

click on graphic to see it larger   Our Moon reaches perigee, (closest distance to Earth), for this orbit, on Monday January 21st. At that time the Moon will be at a distance of 28.015 Earth diameters 357,345 km (222,044 miles) from the Earth.

   The 16-day old Waning gibbous Moon rises shortly after sunset local time is visible all night. Over the southwestern horizon, as the Moon is rising,is the planet Mars which sets around midnight.

   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 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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