May Moon At Perigee


   The Moon reaches perigee, (minimum distance from Earth), this month on Friday May 26th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 28.0 Earth diameters (357,207 km or 221,958 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 perigee Moon the 1.25-day young thin waxing crescent Moon is above the western horizon at sunset local time and is near the 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.

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.

November Perigee, and Full Moon

14nov-perigee_moon   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.
full-moons2016-ani
   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.

   
   
   

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.

October Moon at Perigee

16oct-perigee_moon   The Moon reaches perigee, (minimum distance from Earth), this month on Sunday October 16th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 28.05 Earth diameters (357,861 km or 222,364 miles) from the Earth.
   The Moon reaches perigee Sunday at 23:47 UT (6:47 pm CDT) and this is less than 20 hours after it was at full Moon phase also on Sunday but at 4:23 UT, (11:23 pm CDT October 15th). 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.
   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 lunar perigee the 16-day old just past full waning gibbous Moon rises at around sunset local time and is over the southwest horizon at sunrise the following morning. Two of the Dwarf planets, Eris and Ceres are near the Moon but due to their respective apparent magnitudes (Ceres 7.0; Eris 18.6) and the bright reflected light from the Moon the two are all but invisible. Interestingly these two represent two similar but very different types of Dwarf Planets – Ceres is within the main asteroid belt at a distance of 1.9 AU (176,616,033 miles; 284,235,954 km) while Eris is in the outer regions of the solar system at a distance of 95 AU (8,830,801,690 miles; 14,211,797,715 km) from 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.

July Moon at Perigee

   The Moon reaches perigee, (minimum distance from Earth), this month on Friday July 1st. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 28.69 Earth diameters (365,983 km or 227,411 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 morning of the 1st the thin 26.5-day old waning crescent Moon rises a couple of hours before sunrise. The Moon forms the west pointing corner of a celestial triangle with the base formed by the open star clusters the Pleiades and the Hyades.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   *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?”

   
   
   
Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

January Moon at Apogee #2

30jan-apogee-moon   For the second time this month our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), this time on Friday January 30th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.7 Earth diameters (404,533 km or 251,365 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 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?”

   
   The 21-day old waning gibbous Moon rises before midnight local time and is close to the blue-white star Spica in Virgo the Maiden.

   
   
   

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

November Moon at Descending Node

july8-descending-node   Saturday November 21st our Moon will be crossing the plane of the ecliptic moving south. This is known as the descending node, one of two intersections the Moon’s orbital path (dark green line) has with the ecliptic.
   
   
   
   

   
   
   On the day of the node crossing the 10-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be visible over the eastern horizon at sunset local time.

   
   
   
   
   
Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.