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The Moon at perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The Moon's monthly orbit around the Earth will carry it to its closest point to the Sun – its perihelion – at a distance of 0.9813 AU from the Sun.

This happens at around the time when the Moon's orbit carries it between the Sun and the Earth, at around the same time that it passes new moon.

At the moment of the Moon's perihelion, the Earth will lie at a distance of 0.9840 AU from the Sun, and the Moon will lie at a distance of 0.9812 AU from the Sun.

This distance between the Earth and Moon will be 0.0027 AU (406,000 km).

The exact positions of the Sun and Moon in the sky will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
The Moon 18h26m20s -20°02' Sagittarius 29'22"
Sun (centre) 17h47m -23°24' Sagittarius 32'30"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 18 December 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

30-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


30 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:07 10:58 15:48
Venus 06:51 11:27 16:03
Moon 07:20 12:10 17:00
Mars 03:00 08:19 13:37
Jupiter 03:44 08:53 14:01
Saturn 07:23 12:02 16:40
All times shown in EST.


Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

18 Dec 2017  –  The Moon at perihelion
26 Dec 2017  –  Moon at First Quarter
01 Jan 2018  –  The Moon at perigee
01 Jan 2018  –  The Moon at aphelion

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