Distance of the Full Moon from the Earth

Using the mean orbital eccentricity of the Moon

e = 0.0549

and the major axis

a = 384400 km

we calculate the mean perigee distance

dp = a(1-e) = 363296 km

and the mean apogee distance

da = a(1+e) = 405504 km

The extreme distances for 1500 to 2500 are (according to J. Meeus)

356371 km on 2257 Jan 1

406720 km on 2266 Jan 7

The ratio is:

406720 km : 356371 km = 1.1413

The following diagram shows the distances of the Full Moon (2004 to 2023):

 

Extreme values for the Full Moon distance occur when Full Moon is close to perigee or apogee passage, and long-term extremes are in the months near to Earth's perihelion passage (closest approach to the Sun, when the Sun's tidal effects are strongest) in the first few days of January.

For 2004 to 2023, the extreme values are (apogee and perigee calculated by my Planet Applet):

Full Moon on 2016 Nov 14, at 13:55 UT R=356523 km (min)

Moon Perigee on 2016 Nov 14, at 11:24 UT R=356512 km

Full Moon on 2014 Jan 16, at 04:55 UT R=406528 km (max)

Moon Apogee on 2014 Jan 16, at 01:53 UT R=406532 km

 

The ratio is:

406528 km : 356523 km = 1.1403 


Full Moon near apogee and perigee
difference in the apparent size


Fourmilab, by John Walker
(public domain)

 
Fourmilab, by John Walker
(public domain)


Links


Distances of the Full Moon (2004 to 2023):
(calculated by my Moon Applet)

2004 Jan 07 R = 400287 km

2004 Feb 06 R = 390818 km

2004 Mar 06 R = 379625 km

2004 Apr 05 R = 369160 km

2004 May 04 R = 361358 km

2004 Jun 03 R = 357384 km (min)

2004 Jul 02 R = 357698 km

2004 Jul 31 R = 362193 km

2004 Aug 30 R = 370256 km

2004 Sep 28 R = 380716 km

2004 Oct 28 R = 391755 km

2004 Nov 26 R = 400987 km

2004 Dec 26 R = 406040 km

2005 Jan 25 R = 405534 km

2005 Feb 24 R = 399643 km

2005 Mar 25 R = 389978 km

2005 Apr 24 R = 378921 km

2005 May 23 R = 368752 km

2005 Jun 22 R = 361178 km

2005 Jul 21 R = 357290 km (min)

2005 Aug 19 R = 357655 km

2005 Sep 18 R = 362331 km

2005 Oct 17 R = 370767 km

2005 Nov 16 R = 381630 km

2005 Dec 15 R = 392793 km

2006 Jan 14 R = 401697 km

2006 Feb 13 R = 406133 km

2006 Mar 14 R = 405039 km

2006 Apr 13 R = 398891 km

2006 May 13 R = 389397 km

2006 Jun 11 R = 378705 km

2006 Jul 11 R = 368788 km

2006 Aug 09 R = 361248 km

2006 Sep 07 R = 357296 km (min)

2006 Oct 07 R = 357697 km

2006 Nov 05 R = 362616 km

2006 Dec 05 R = 371412 km

2007 Jan 03 R = 382520 km

2007 Feb 02 R = 393637 km

2007 Mar 03 R = 402201 km

2007 Apr 02 R = 406194 km

2007 May 02 R = 404858 km

2007 Jun 01 R = 398786 km

2007 Jun 30 R = 389454 km

2007 Jul 30 R = 378742 km

2007 Aug 28 R = 368606 km

2007 Sep 26 R = 360824 km

2007 Oct 26 R = 356840 km (min)

2007 Nov 24 R = 357550 km

2007 Dec 24 R = 363037 km

2008 Jan 22 R = 372388 km

2008 Feb 21 R = 383748 km

2008 Mar 21 R = 394662 km

2008 Apr 20 R = 402734 km

2008 May 20 R = 406313 km

2008 Jun 18 R = 404809 km

2008 Jul 18 R = 398654 km

2008 Aug 16 R = 389154 km

2008 Sep 15 R = 378208 km

2008 Oct 14 R = 367901 km

2008 Nov 13 R = 360188 km

2008 Dec 12 R = 356613 km (min)

2009 Jan 11 R = 357971 km

2009 Feb 09 R = 364043 km

2009 Mar 11 R = 373593 km

2009 Apr 09 R = 384656 km

2009 May 09 R = 395031 km

2009 Jun 07 R = 402696 km

2009 Jul 07 R = 406137 km

2009 Aug 06 R = 404617 km

2009 Sep 04 R = 398411 km

2009 Oct 04 R = 388766 km

2009 Nov 02 R = 377620 km

2009 Dec 02 R = 367229 km

2009 Dec 31 R = 359718 km

2010 Jan 30 R = 356608 km (min)

2010 Feb 28 R = 358430 km

2010 Mar 30 R = 364683 km

2010 Apr 28 R = 374079 km

2010 May 27 R = 384870 km

2010 Jun 26 R = 395105 km

2010 Jul 26 R = 402797 km

2010 Aug 24 R = 406293 km

2010 Sep 23 R = 404706 km

2010 Oct 23 R = 398195 km

2010 Nov 21 R = 388053 km

2010 Dec 21 R = 376518 km

2011 Jan 19 R = 366159 km

2011 Feb 18 R = 359108 km

2011 Mar 19 R = 356580 km (min)

2011 Apr 18 R = 358798 km

2011 May 17 R = 365163 km

2011 Jun 15 R = 374499 km

2011 Jul 15 R = 385213 km

2011 Aug 13 R = 395400 km

2011 Sep 12 R = 403048 km

2011 Oct 12 R = 406383 km

2011 Nov 10 R = 404376 km

2011 Dec 10 R = 397257 km

2012 Jan 09 R = 386716 km

2012 Feb 07 R = 375304 km

2012 Mar 08 R = 365497 km

2012 Apr 06 R = 359075 km

2012 May 06 R = 356954 km (min)

2012 Jun 04 R = 359255 km

2012 Jul 03 R = 365477 km

2012 Aug 02 R = 374630 km

2012 Aug 31 R = 385270 km

2012 Sep 30 R = 395531 km

2012 Oct 29 R = 403229 km

2012 Nov 28 R = 406349 km

2012 Dec 28 R = 403872 km

2013 Jan 27 R = 396390 km

2013 Feb 25 R = 385855 km

2013 Mar 27 R = 374746 km

2013 Apr 25 R = 365307 km

2013 May 25 R = 359111 km

2013 Jun 23 R = 356991 km (min)

2013 Jul 22 R = 359169 km

2013 Aug 21 R = 365341 km

2013 Sep 19 R = 374674 km

2013 Oct 18 R = 385703 km

2013 Nov 17 R = 396289 km

2013 Dec 17 R = 403908 km

2014 Jan 16 R = 406528 km (max)

2014 Feb 14 R = 403473 km

2014 Mar 16 R = 395644 km

2014 Apr 15 R = 385094 km

2014 May 14 R = 374215 km

2014 Jun 13 R = 365035 km

2014 Jul 12 R = 358973 km

2014 Aug 10 R = 356898 km (min)

2014 Sep 09 R = 359186 km

2014 Oct 08 R = 365664 km

2014 Nov 06 R = 375439 km

2014 Dec 06 R = 386774 km

2015 Jan 05 R = 397243 km

2015 Feb 03 R = 404342 km

2015 Mar 05 R = 406324 km

2015 Apr 04 R = 402834 km

2015 May 04 R = 394977 km

2015 Jun 02 R = 384728 km

2015 Jul 02 R = 374164 km

2015 Jul 31 R = 365101 km

2015 Aug 29 R = 358987 km

2015 Sep 28 R = 356879 km (min)

2015 Oct 27 R = 359326 km

2015 Nov 25 R = 366150 km

2015 Dec 25 R = 376262 km

2016 Jan 24 R = 387698 km

2016 Feb 22 R = 397951 km

2016 Mar 23 R = 404628 km

2016 Apr 22 R = 406248 km

2016 May 21 R = 402695 km

2016 Jun 20 R = 394991 km

2016 Jul 19 R = 384810 km

2016 Aug 18 R = 374090 km

2016 Sep 16 R = 364747 km

2016 Oct 16 R = 358473 km

2016 Nov 14 R = 356523 km (min)

2016 Dec 14 R = 359454 km

2017 Jan 12 R = 366883 km

2017 Feb 11 R = 377413 km

2017 Mar 12 R = 388857 km

2017 Apr 11 R = 398723 km

2017 May 10 R = 404920 km

2017 Jun 09 R = 406268 km

2017 Jul 09 R = 402620 km

2017 Aug 07 R = 394786 km

2017 Sep 06 R = 384365 km

2017 Oct 05 R = 373403 km

2017 Nov 04 R = 363996 km

2017 Dec 03 R = 357981 km

2018 Jan 02 R = 356605 km (min)

2018 Jan 31 R = 360198 km

2018 Mar 02 R = 368029 km

2018 Mar 31 R = 378482 km

2018 Apr 30 R = 389459 km

2018 May 29 R = 398831 km

2018 Jun 28 R = 404784 km

2018 Jul 27 R = 406091 km

2018 Aug 26 R = 402414 km

2018 Sep 25 R = 394460 km

2018 Oct 24 R = 383835 km

2018 Nov 23 R = 372704 km

2018 Dec 22 R = 363359 km

2019 Jan 21 R = 357716 km

2019 Feb 19 R = 356844 km (min)

2019 Mar 21 R = 360766 km

2019 Apr 19 R = 368580 km

2019 May 18 R = 378784 km

2019 Jun 17 R = 389553 km

2019 Jul 16 R = 398904 km

2019 Aug 15 R = 404935 km

2019 Sep 14 R = 406246 km

2019 Oct 13 R = 402368 km

2019 Nov 12 R = 393969 km

2019 Dec 12 R = 382853 km

2020 Jan 10 R = 371537 km

2020 Feb 09 R = 362482 km

2020 Mar 09 R = 357406 km

2020 Apr 08 R = 357034 km (min)

2020 May 07 R = 361186 km

2020 Jun 05 R = 369000 km

2020 Jul 05 R = 379136 km

2020 Aug 03 R = 389870 km

2020 Sep 02 R = 399205 km

2020 Oct 01 R = 405150 km

2020 Oct 31 R = 406166 km

2020 Nov 30 R = 401725 km

2020 Dec 30 R = 392767 km

2021 Jan 28 R = 381514 km

2021 Feb 27 R = 370590 km

2021 Mar 28 R = 362167 km

2021 Apr 27 R = 357614 km

2021 May 26 R = 357462 km (min)

2021 Jun 24 R = 361556 km

2021 Jul 24 R = 369197 km

2021 Aug 22 R = 379220 km

2021 Sep 20 R = 389984 km

2021 Oct 20 R = 399419 km

2021 Nov 19 R = 405298 km

2021 Dec 19 R = 405931 km

2022 Jan 17 R = 401020 km

2022 Feb 16 R = 391883 km

2022 Mar 18 R = 380820 km

2022 Apr 16 R = 370255 km

2022 May 16 R = 362124 km

2022 Jun 14 R = 357659 km

2022 Jul 13 R = 357417 km (min)

2022 Aug 12 R = 361410 km

2022 Sep 10 R = 369132 km

2022 Oct 09 R = 379482 km

2022 Nov 08 R = 390662 km

2022 Dec 08 R = 400245 km

2023 Jan 06 R = 405792 km

2023 Feb 05 R = 405830 km

2023 Mar 07 R = 400441 km

2023 Apr 06 R = 391133 km

2023 May 05 R = 380195 km

2023 Jun 04 R = 369879 km

2023 Jul 03 R = 361932 km

2023 Aug 01 R = 357529 km

2023 Aug 31 R = 357346 km (min)

2023 Sep 29 R = 361558 km

2023 Oct 28 R = 369699 km

2023 Nov 27 R = 380478 km

2023 Dec 27 R = 391770 km

 


Web Links

Inconstant Moon (Fourmilab, John Walker)

Lunar Perigee and Apogee Calculator (Fourmilab, John Walker)

A Whale of a Full Moon (NASA Space Science News)

Astronomy Picture of the Day, December 22, 1999 (NASA)

Warum ist der Mond am Horizont so groß?

The Moon Illusion,An Unsolved Mystery.

Explaining the moon illusion

The Face of the Moon from Galileo to Apollo

Last Modified: 2007, Oct 26