Earthrise In Earthshine

Before daybreak these mornings, two bright objects
of nighttime, Moon and Venus, are East.
Earthshine’s glow lights the Moon’s dark side
with this twice-reflected sunlight and Earth appears
a half-lighted landscape in the lunar sky.

 

Earthrise

This NASA photograph from Apollo 11 shows the partly-illuminated Earth rising over the lunar horizon. The Earth is approximately 400,000 km away.

Apogee and Perigee

Like the Moon’s oblong circling of us,

we move in our eccentric crisscrossing orbits

around each other and some unseen centerpoint.

Tonight at apogee, distant in cold space.

If there’s a future, there’s also perigee.

 

moon and woman


Perigee is when the Moon is at its closest point to Earth in its orbit, while apogee is when it is at its most distant. Like everything else in nature, the Moon’s orbit is always in flux and its shape and its orientation relative to the Earth and the Sun change all the time.