Perigee & Apogee

The Lunar Perigee and Apogee Table

All dates and times are Universal time (UTC); to convert to local time add or subtract the difference between your time zone and UTC, remembering to include any additional offset due to summer time for dates when it is in effect.

For each perigee and apogee the distance in kilometres between the centres of the Earth and Moon are given. Perigee and apogee distances are usually accurate to within a few kilometres compared to values calculated with the definitive ELP 2000-82 theory of the lunar orbit; the maximum error over the years 1977 through 2022 is 12-km in perigee distance and 6-km at apogee.

Perigee is when the moon is closest, apogee when it is furthest away.

The closest perigee and most distant apogee of the year are marked with “++” if closer in time to full Moon or “--” if closer to new Moon. Other close-to-maximum apogees and perigees are flagged with a single character, again indicating the nearer phase.

Following the flags is the interval between the moment of perigee or apogee and the closest new or full phase; extrema cluster on the shorter intervals, with a smaller bias toward months surrounding the Earth's perihelion in early January. “F” indicates the perigee or apogee is closer to full Moon, and “N” that new Moon is closer. The sign indicates whether the perigee or apogee is before (“−”) or after (“+”) the indicated phase, followed by the interval in days and hours.

Scan for plus signs to find “photo opportunities” where the Moon is full close to apogee and perigee.

The time it takes for the moon to travel from perigee to perigee, is called the anomalistic month which takes around 27.55455 days. Therefore, the moon will orbit the earth approximately 13 times a year - so there will be about 13 perigee and 13 apogee events per year.

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