THE ELLIPTICAL NATURE OF THE MOON'S ORBIT

                                                                   

Both of the above photos were taken with the identical telescope system (camera, focal length,  magnification). Yet the Moon is some 10% larger on the November 9th photo. No, the Moon doesn't change its size in its orbit around the Earth. On November 9th, the Moon was at perigee, and on November 23rd it was at apogee. Perigee (closest approach to Earth) and apogee (furthest approach from Earth) refer to opposite points on an elliptical orbit.

                               

At perigee, the Moon is closer to the Earth by 34,360 kilometers, hence it appears larger in the sky. If the Moon's orbit was perfectly circular, there would be no change in its apparent size

 

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