Saturday, 4 April 2020

The closest Lunar Perigee of 2020.

At 6.10 pm GMT on Tuesday 19 April the Moon will be at its closest point to the Earth in 2020, at a distance of 356 908 km. This will fall eight hours and 15 minutes before the Full Moon, at 2.35 am on Wednesday 20 April, making it particularly large in the sky. The Moon completes one orbit about the Earth every 27.5 days, and like most orbiting bodies, its orbit is not completely circular, but slightly elliptical, so that the distance between the two bodies varies by about 3% over the course of a month. This elliptical orbit is also not completely regular, it periodically elongates then returns to normal, making some perigees closer than others. These cycles mean that the Moon often reaches its furthest point from the Earth (apogee) of the year in the same lunar cycle, although this does not happen in 2020, when the furthest Lunar Apogee will occur in December.

Simplified diagram of the Moon's orbit. NASA.

Although this is the closest point to the Earth that the Moon has reached this year, it is not exceptional. The Moon reached 356 761 km from the Earth on 19 February 2019, and will reach 356 783 km from the Earth on 4 December 2021.

See also...

https://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2020/03/the-march-equinox.htmlhttps://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2020/01/earth-approaches-perihelion.html
https://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2019/12/the-northern-solstice.htmlhttps://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2019/11/venice-suffers-worst-flooding-in-53.html
https://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-september-equinox.htmlhttps://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2019/07/earth-approaches-aphelion.html
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14 comments:


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