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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Apogee and Perigee of the Moon

Moon Over the Plateau 2/7/2012

The moon has been in the news lately. Newt wants to create a colony on the moon. Mitt wants to fire Newt for creating a colony on the moon. Trying to ignore this inane debate and pondering the beauty of the moon over the lake here on the Plateau got me to thinking about the size of the moon, and why it sometimes looks considerably larger than other times. So, some facts to store for small talk at your next party...

Apogee refers to when the moon is at its furthest point from the Earth, while Perigee refers to when the moon is at its closest point to the Earth.
Distance of the moon from the Earth:
Perigee = 221,463 miles
Average = 238,857 miles
Apogee = 251,968 miles

Gravitational pull on the Earth:
Perigee = greater, contributing to higher tides
Apogee = lesser, contributing to lower tides