Lunar Perigee & Apogee

Nick Anthony Fiorenza

Full Moon & Lunar Perigees

The Lunar Perigee is when the Moon is closest to the Earth during its monthly orbit. The Lunar Apogee is when the Moon is furthest from Earth. Generally, the Moon looks about 14% larger and 30% brighter at its perigee compared to its apogee. The Moon looks additionally larger when it is on the horizon due to atmospheric distortion. Thus when a Full Moon occurs during a Lunar Perigee, the Full Moon will look spectacular when it rises on the eastern horizon at sunset, especially with the right atmospheric conditions.

The Full Moons occurring from May 2013 through July 2013 synchronize with the Lunar Perigees, and thus will look extra large and will produce an increase in gravitational and tidal forces. The May 24-25 Full Moon Prenumbral Eclipse creates a perfect "Super Moon." Watch for the three Super Moons as as they rise in the east as the Sun sets in the west.

Later in the year, the New Moons will start to synchronize with the Lunar Perigees, of course we do not see New Moons, but they will be closer to Earth. The November 3 New Moon produces a Hybrid Solar Eclipse. It is close to the Lunar Perigee, which occurs on November 6. Both New Moons and Full Moons that occur near Lunar Perigees can produce an increase in the potential for seismic activity, and even more so when there is an eclipse, due to the direct alignment of the Sun, Earth and Moon.

Lunar Perigee Chart

2013 Lunar Perigee

Jan 10 10:27 360047 km
Feb 7 12:10 365313 km
Mar 5 23:21 369953 km
Mar 31 3:56 367493 km
Apr 27 19:49 362267 km
May 26 1:46 358374 km
Jun 23 11:11 356989 km
Jul 21 20:28 358401 km
Aug 19 1:27 362264 km
Sep 15 16:35 367387 km
Oct 10 23:07 369811 km
Nov 6 9:29 365361 km
Dec 4 10:16 360063 km