May Apogee Moon

   Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), on Friday May 12th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.84 Earth diameters (406,210 km or 252,407 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*


   The 16-day old waning gibbous Moon rises a few hours before midnight local time, and is located near the reddish star Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion, and the planet Saturn.

*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 return to bobs-spaces.

Moon – Spica Conjunction


   Monday evening May 8th watch for the 12.5-day old waxing gibbous Moon to be about 8o from the blue-white star Spica in the constellation Virgo the Harvest Maiden. Both will just barely fit within the field of view of 7×50 binoculars.
   

   
   
   
   
   
   

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