Why is a synodic month (the time needed to complete one cycle of lunar phases) longer than a sidereal month (the time taken by the Moon to complete one orbit around Earth) and not shorter?

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    Because the angular direction in which Earth turns around its axis is the same as the direction in which the Moon orbits around Earth.
     Because the Moon is speeding up in its orbit around Earth.
     Because the Moon orbits around Earth in the same angular direction as Earth moves in its orbit around the Sun.
     Because the Moon is slowing down in its orbit around Earth.
     Because the Moon orbits around Earth in the opposite angular direction as Earth moves in its orbit around the Sun.
asked Sep 20, 2012 in Astronomy by anonymous
    

1 Answer

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Because the Moon orbits around Earth in the same angular direction as Earth moves in its orbit around the Sun.
answered Sep 22, 2012 by SkyStar ~Expert~ (2,855 points)



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