Last night I learned that the full moon was at apogee, and with all the love I’ve given to supermoons, I figured that I should throw a bone to the tiny ones as well. Kevin is a regular on Michigan in Pictures with his stunning photos of the night sky. He made a comparison of the perigee and apogee Moons of 2011 and shared this explanation:
The Full Moon of October 2011 was near apogee, which is the furthest point in the Moon’s orbit of the Earth. Back in March, you may recall, the Moon was at it’s closest point in its orbit to Earth, and the media dubbed it the “Supermoon.”
According to several sources, the difference in size between the March Full Moon and the October Full Moon is 12.3%. Why is there such a difference, you may ask?
Well, the Moon’s orbit around the Earth is elliptical, just as the Earth’s is around the Sun. That means that as the object – the Moon in this case – orbits the “parent” object (the Earth) it will never be the same distance away.
The image I put together shows the difference between the size of the Moon at perigee (March 2011) and apogee (October 2011). This comparison makes the size difference quite clear.
PS: This full moon is the strawberry moon, and you can click that link for more about that and (unsurprisingly) a photo from Kevin!