New and Near

New Moon today.  The moment is 11:24 Universal Time, which is 6:24 by clocks in eastern North America.  And the Moon’s perigee, or nearest moment to us in its elliptical orbit, happens only 6 hours after, at 17:29 UT.

This is the year’s second closest perigee, and second closest coincidence of a perigee with a syzygy (New or Full Moon).  The closest of both (perigee, and coincidence) will come on November 14, when Full Moon happens only 2.4 hours after perigee.  For some clarification see the “Moon’s distance” graph in Astronomical Calendar 2016.

The Moon, if you could see it amid the Sun’s dazzle, would look relatively large, and if in front of the Sun would yield a long total eclipse.  And another result, as explained toward the end of the Astronomical Calendar‘s “Moon” section, is tides of large amplitude.

 

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