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Apogee: meaning


Apogee, in an astrophysical or figurative sense, it is something maximum and high. We talk about apogee of the moon, of an orbit of a planet but also of the apogee of the history of a people or a history of love and friendship. There are many scientific terms that are used in everyday language such as metaphors and it is interesting to know both meanings also to make the best use of them. This shows how basically there is no exaggerated distance between us and the sky, quite the contrary!

Apogee: meaning

In astronomy this term is used both as an adjective and as a noun. In the first case it defines something that is at the greatest distance between two celestial bodies while as a noun it is the point of greatest distance of the Sun from the Earth

Over time we began to speak of apogee also to indicate the point of greatest distance from the Earth in which any celestial body, natural or artificial, that completes an orbit around the Earth itself, finds itself. The meaning was therefore extended to other celestial bodies and it has been extended to the world of imagery and metaphors, so much so that today we speak of apogee to refer to the highest point of ... everything, or almost everything. The word comes from the Latin apogēus, which in turn derives from the Greek ἀπόγειος and means “that comes from the earth”.

Apogee and perigee

It often goes hand in hand with the word perigee and in fact once you understand what the first is, you can guess what the second is. We start from the idea that what orbits the Earth follows its own elliptical trajectory which has apsides, the maximum orbital distance of an object from the Earth is called apogee while the perigee is the minimum.

Even thinking about apogee and perigee and on their presence in an orbit of an object that revolves around another, metaphors and philosophical and psychological interpretations are wasted. It is always interesting to see how celestial phenomena can in some way reflect terribly human attitudes or "humanizable".

Lunar apogee

Most of the time you hear about apogee in the strict sense, in the astronomical sense, the celestial body referred to is the Moon che in effect revolves around the Earth along an elliptical orbit on an inclined plane of about 5 ° with respect to the Ecliptic.

The Moon is the closest celestial body to the Earth, the average distance is 384,400 km but it fluctuates with variations of 45,000 km, which is exactly why they exist apogee and perigee, otherwise, with constant distance, they would not exist.

There are further complications, for the Moon, since the difference between minimum and maximum distance is not constant but varies due to some gravitational perturbations which manage to influence the Moon making it difficult for us to exactly attribute a precise measure to apogee and perigee. Let's try to get into the merits. When the major axis of the lunar orbit is perpendicular to the Earth line then minimum distance and maximum distance they have less difference. - Moon the difference between the perigee and the apogee is reduced.

L'average apogee is 405.503 km and the average perigee is 363,296 Km, let's imagine them assembled in a kind of binary system that has a center of gravity 17 Km below the earth's surfaces. Our posterity will be able to "witness" the moment in which the Moon will be at its maximum distance from Earth, January 1, 2257, and the one in which the distance will be minimum on January 7, 2266.

Apogeo: synonym

The synonymous it is mostly used when we are talking about this concept figuratively. There is actually more than one, so we can choose based on the context. Here are the most used: climax apex, summit, summit, summit, maximum, acme, supreme, ridge, top. A rather frequent saying is that referring to someone's career. The apogee of success.

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