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LUNAR EXTREMES
2012 Lunar Apogees & Perigees
© 2010 by Richard Nolle
LUNAR EXTREMES: 2012 Lunar Apogees & Perigees copyright 2010 by Richard Nolle all rights reserved http://www.astropro.com - rnolle@astropro.com +--------------+-------------+-----+----------+--------+ | DATE | GMT | TYP | MOON |DIS (km)| +--------------+-------------+-----+----------+--------+ | JAN 02, 2012 | 08:20:00 PM | APO | 29 AR 03 | 404579 | | JAN 17, 2012 | 09:29:00 PM | PER | 17 SC 03 | 369882 | | JAN 30, 2012 | 05:43:00 PM | APO | 05 TA 32 | 404324 | | FEB 11, 2012 | 06:33:00 PM | PER | 13 LI 35 | 367919 | | FEB 27, 2012 | 02:03:00 PM | APO | 11 TA 37 | 404862 | | MAR 10, 2012 | 10:03:00 AM | PER | 18 LI 04 | 362399 | | MAR 26, 2012 | 06:05:00 AM | APO | 15 TA 57 | 405779 | | APR 07, 2012 | 05:00:00 PM | PER | 01 SC 05 | 358313 | | APR 22, 2012 | 01:50:00 PM | APO | 16 TA 37 | 406420 | | MAY 06, 2012 | 03:34:00 AM | PER | 16 SC 00 | 356953*| | MAY 19, 2012 | 04:14:00 PM | APO | 14 TA 50 | 406450*| | JUN 03, 2012 | 01:21:00 PM | PER | 00 SA 31 | 358482 | | JUN 16, 2012 | 01:25:00 AM | APO | 16 TA 15 | 405790 | | JUL 01, 2012 | 06:02:00 PM | PER | 12 SA 17 | 362361 | | JUL 13, 2012 | 04:48:00 PM | APO | 20 TA 20 | 404782 | | JUL 29, 2012 | 08:31:00 AM | PER | 16 SA 15 | 367317 | | AUG 10, 2012 | 10:53:00 AM | APO | 25 TA 26 | 404124 | | AUG 23, 2012 | 07:40:00 PM | PER | 21 SC 04 | 369730 | | SEP 07, 2012 | 06:01:00 AM | APO | 00 GE 55 | 404295 | | SEP 19, 2012 | 02:53:00 AM | PER | 07 SC 20 | 365748 | | OCT 05, 2012 | 00:44:00 AM | APO | 06 GE 22 | 405161 | | OCT 17, 2012 | 01:03:00 AM | PER | 15 SC 30 | 360672 | | NOV 01, 2012 | 03:31:00 PM | APO | 10 GE 15 | 406049 | | NOV 14, 2012 | 10:23:00 AM | PER | 29 SC 42 | 357360 | | NOV 28, 2012 | 07:36:00 PM | APO | 09 GE 09 | 406364 | | DEC 12, 2012 | 11:15:00 PM | PER | 15 SA 45 | 357073 | | DEC 25, 2012 | 09:21:00 PM | APO | 06 GE 56 | 406099 | +--------------+-------------+-----+----------+--------+
NOTES: APO = LUNAR APOGEE PER = LUNAR PERIGEE DIS = DISTANCE (in kilometers)

 

 

 

All data are computer generated for the Moon's position in ecliptic longitude using Esoteric Technologies' Solar Fire Gold software, for lunar apogee and perigee as calculated by Home Planet (listed in the Astronomy Section of Astropro's NetSelect Directory).

If you're familiar with the SuperMoon concept (introduced to the astrological community with my 1979 article for Dell Publishing Company's HOROSCOPE magazine), you already know that I have described a new or full moon which coincides with lunar perigee as an important indicator of extreme tides on Earth. (See Century 21 (CE) SuperMoons for more.) But what of perigee as a thing in itself, regardless of any association with a new or full moon? The table above lists time and zodiacal position data for all of them for 2012, along with the opposite point in the lunar orbit (apogee, maximum distance from Earth). In addition, the actual distance in kilometers from Earth to Moon is shown for each apogee and perigee of the year. The closest perigee of 2012 (May 6, at 356,953 kilometers), is marked with an asterisk; as is the farthest apogee (May 19, at 406,450 kilometers). To put these figures into perspective, the farthest apogee in the period 1750-2125 is 406,720 km. (on February 3, 2125), and the closest possible perigee during this same period is 356,375 km. (on January 4, 1912): see John Walker's excellent article Inconstant Moon: The Moon at Perigee and Apogee for more on this.

Perigee means closest approach to Earth. As I pointed out in my 1979 article, there are hints dating back to Ptolemy (2nd Century CE) that the Moon's perigee is a time of magnified lunar influence on Earth. After all, at lunar perigee the Moon is closest to Earth and therefore its apparent motion as seen from our home planet is greatest. In other words, the Moon is 'swift in course' at such times, to use an archaic astrological term. Regarding the significance of the planets (a term he used to include Sun and Moon, following the practice of his time), Ptolemy advocated paying special attention to any planet "when it may be oriental, swift and direct in its proper course and motion for it has then its greatest power."1 (Emphasis added.)

A lunar perigee can't match a SuperMoon in terms of tide-raising power, and won't even measure up to an ordinary new or full moon in that respect. These factors, after all, combine Sun, Moon and Earth in alignment (with the added element of lunar perigee included in the case of a SuperMoon). Lunar perigee on the other hand is only a particular class of Earth-Moon alignment. But consider the calamitous January 25, 1999 Colombian earthquake, which struck at 6:19 PM UT on that date within 30 hours of the January 26 lunar perigee. Coincidence? Perhaps one of many. Such as, for example, the 6.4 Richter that rocked the Loyalty Islands region on February 22; the 6.8 that struck Andreanof Island in the Aleutians on March 20; the 5.6 that hit Hawaii on April 17 (the same day Richter 5.0 quakes struck southern Xinjiang China and the central Mediterranean Sea); the 7.0 temblor that shook up the New Britain region of Papua New Guinea May 14, followed by a 5.1 in the same area on June 13; the 6.6 quake that hit Honduras on July 11 (followed 13 hours later by a 5.8 quake in Pakistan); the 5.0 quake that messed with Mindanao August 8, reprised at 5.3 in the very same place during the very next lunar perigee period (September 1); the Richter 5+ quakes that struck Taiwan, southern Sumatra and Halmahera (both in Indonesia) September 27, followed the next day by a 6.1-magnitude temblor in the Komandorsky Islands region (one of nine Richter 5+ quakes recorded within 30 hours of the September 28 perigee); and the quintet of Richter 5+ quakes logged within 30 hours of the October 26 perigee (including a 5.6 at North Island, New Zealand) - and these comprise only a partial seismicity catalog for a single year.

You might want to consider the dates listed above for the year 2012, and watch the seismic and meteorological developments in the news of the day. I'm guessing that within plus or minus 30 hours of lunar perigee, you'll see a greater than usual number of significant seismic (magnitude 5 or greater quakes, volcanic eruptions) and meteorological events (strong storms). Strike-slip faults in particular, on the other hand, often become active around the time of lunar apogee, particularly if the Moon is at or near maximum declination at the same time. You decide.

And here's something else to observe and test. Within the 30 hours-either way time frame, lunar perigees may signify a general excitation in living things: an upwelling of emotion, excitability, restlessness, etc. Conversely, within the same time window, lunar apogee may indicate just the reverse: a sense of calm, listlessness or even malaise.

1Ashmand, J. M. trans., Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos. North Hollywood CA: Symbols & Signs, 1976, p. 39.

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