How Far Is The Moon From The Earth?
Goofy Dad Wanted To Know :D
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Of course the orbit is not a perfect circle, but an ellipse, and so there is a perigee (the nearest the Moon gets to Earth) and an apogee (the furthest distance away from the Earth that the Moon gets). One of each every 28 days (it swings out to apogee and a fortnight later it comes closer and is at perigee, and a fortnight after that, back out to apogee again) and 13 of each in a calendar year.
And the lunar distance at apogee one lunar month won't be the same, the following lunar month and ditto the perigee. For a dramatic photo of the difference in size, to the human eye, of the moon at perigee and at apogee, look at the photos in the first link
The mean distance to the moon, 384,401 km, is the semimajor axis of its elliptical orbit. The closest perigee in the years 1750 through 2125 was 356,375 km on 4th January 1912; the most distant apogee in the same period will be 406,720 km on 3rd February 2125
TABLE OF DISTANCES FOR THE REST OF 2008
Sep 20 perigee: 368,888 km
Oct 5 apogee: 404,715 km
Oct 17 perigee: 363,826 km
Nov 2 apogee: 405,722 km
Nov 14 perigee: 358,972 km
Nov 29 apogee: 406,479 km
Dec 12 perigee: 356,567 km
Dec 26 apogee: 406,600 kmSource(s): http://www.fourmilab.ch/earthview/moon_ap_per.html http://www.fourmilab.ch/earthview/pacalc.html
- hznfrstLv 61 decade ago
239,000 miles on average, sometimes closer and sometimes farther. It is very slowly receding from the earth, and as it does the earth's rotation slows (increasing the length of a day) to keep the earth-moon system's angular momentum in balance.
Why is it receding in the first place, though? One explanation is that the tides that the moon creates on the earth slows earth's rotation down by friction, and the lost momentum gets transferred to the moon, making it move farther away. It's exactly the same effect you see when an ice skater spins faster with arms pulled in and slower when the arms are extended, something you can do yourself with a rotating stool: hold a heavy book in each hand, spin around and you can change your rotation speed just by moving the books in or out.
(I see some dorky troll is giving everyone a thumbs-down here. What a fulfilling life that person must lead.)
- VeritasLv 71 decade ago
P.S. The sun is 93 millions miles away
- Anonymous1 decade ago
About 240,000 miles
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- twertytoLv 41 decade ago
Average distance is 384,000 km.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
You could just look on the internet but it is about 93 million miles.
- Sven BLv 61 decade ago