reply to post by Schmidt1989
Actually, the distance is the same. On Saturday early AM, the Moon is approaching perigee (the closest point in its orbit to the Earth) and on Sunday
early AM it has reached perigee and is moving away.
When it comes to distance, it doesn't really matter what time of the month you look at the Moon. At apogee (the farthest point in its orbit to the
Earth) the Moon only looks a few percent smaller than it does at perigee. I've been looking at the Moon for 40 years, and I
can't see the
In fact, when I was running the numbers I remembered an interesting detail:
(Bear with me while I explain)
I have a 12" globe of the Earth on my desk.
Currently, it's turned so I am looking straight at the east coast of the United States.
Hawaii is just visible on the edge to the left, and Europe is just visible to the edge on the right.
From my chair, if I reach out, I can just
touch Pennsylvania with my finger.
Hawaii & Europe are out of reach. That is because the globe's radius is 6 inches, so the center of the globe and the bits I can see on the edges are
6" further away from me than the closest part (that is facing right at me).
Now let's go full scale and turn this around:
This weekend is a full moon. Thus, the Moon will be high in the sky at midnight.
If you look at the Moon from Pennsylvania at midnight, the Moon will be high in the sky. However...
At that same moment, the full moon is setting in Europe, and rising in Hawaii.
Remembering the globe, the Moon is, at that moment further away from Europe & Hawaii than it is from Pennsylvania.
The Earth's radius is ~4,000 miles.
That means that the Moon is 4,000 miles further away when it is rising or setting than it is when it's straight overhead.
The Moon is - on the average - ~240,000 miles from Earth (center-to-center), so the change in distance from the surface of the Earth as the planet
rotates 6 hours (one-quarter turn) is ~1/60th of the total distance between the two.
How does this relate to your question?
When you specified "early AM" Saturday & Sunday, I ran the numbers for each hour from midnight to 3am EDT. During those hours, the center-to-center
distance from the Earth to the Moon changed by less than 100 miles (and, as I said earlier, was close to the same for both nights).
However, the distance from the surface of the Earth
changed by almost thousand miles
in those few hours, thanks to the Earth's size &
But still, the change
in distance is insignificant to the total
distance involved; so don't sweat it - Just enjoy the pretty full