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LUNAR EXTREMES
2017 Lunar Apogees & Perigees
© 2016 by Richard Nolle
LUNAR EXTREMES: 2017 Lunar Apogees & Perigees copyright 2016 by Richard Nolle all rights reserved http://www.astropro.com - rnolle@astropro.com +--------------+--------+-----+----------+--------+ | DATE | GMT | TYP | MOON |DIS (km)| +--------------+--------+-----+----------+--------+ | JAN 10, 2017 | 06:08 | PER | 19 GE 42 | 363241 | | JAN 22, 2017 | 00:15 | APO | 24 SC 48 | 404911 | | FEB 06, 2017 | 14:00 | PER | 18 GE 38 | 368816 | | FEB 18, 2017 | 21:15 | APO | 01 SA 10 | 404375 | | MAR 03, 2017 | 07:25 | PER | 14 TA 07 | 369063 | | MAR 18, 2017 | 17:26 | APO | 07 SA 09 | 404650 | | MAR 30, 2017 | 12:40 | PER | 12 TA 49 | 363854 | | APR 15, 2017 | 10:06 | APO | 11 SA 43 | 405477 | | APR 27, 2017 | 16:19 | PER | 24 TA 06 | 359323 | | MAY 12, 2017 | 19:52 | APO | 13 SA 18 | 406210 | | MAY 26, 2017 | 01:24 | PER | 08 GE 23 | 357209*| | JUN 08, 2017 | 22:22 | APO | 11 SA 34 | 406401 | | JUN 23, 2017 | 10:50 | PER | 22 GE 50 | 357937 | | JUL 06, 2017 | 04:28 | APO | 11 SA 32 | 405932 | | JUL 21, 2017 | 17:11 | PER | 05 CA 37 | 361236 | | AUG 02, 2017 | 17:56 | APO | 14 SA 48 | 405024 | | AUG 18, 2017 | 13:16 | PER | 12 CA 43 | 366127 | | AUG 30, 2017 | 11:26 | APO | 19 SA 40 | 404305 | | SEP 13, 2017 | 16:05 | PER | 26 GE 22 | 369855 | | SEP 27, 2017 | 06:51 | APO | 25 SA 17 | 404341 | | OCT 09, 2017 | 05:52 | PER | 02 GE 29 | 366857 | | OCT 25, 2017 | 02:26 | APO | 01 CP 05 | 404341 | | NOV 06, 2017 | 00:10 | PER | 08 GE 33 | 361437 | | NOV 21, 2017 | 18:53 | APO | 05 CP 44 | 406131 | | DEC 04, 2017 | 08:43 | PER | 22 GE 26 | 357495 | | DEC 19, 2017 | 01:28 | APO | 05 CP 52 | 406604*| +--------------+--------+-----+----------+--------+
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 John Walker's free Home Planet software.

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 - atmospheric, oceanic, geological and emotional tides, that is. (See SuperMoon: What It Is, What It Means 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 2017, 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 2017 (MAY 26, at 357,209 kilometers), is marked with an asterisk; as is the farthest apogee (DEC 19, at 406,604 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 significance here on Earth. After all, at lunar perigee the Moon is closest to Earth and therefore biggest and brightest in our sky (if it's in a visible phase, that is). Its apparent motion as seen from our home planet is also 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 2017, 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 events (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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