April 22, 2008

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Shifting Orb

image by Kostas Christodoulopoulos, Athens, Greece

Apparently the Moon tilted over nearly 90° when no one was watching. Or at least that is what it looks like in Kostas' atmospheric image of Moonrise over Mt. Likavitos in Athens. Many people never notice that the Moon is aligned at right angles when it rises compared to how it looks 6 hrs later when it is high in the sky. Use Mare Crisum as a reference point. It faces up when the Moon rises, but when the Moon is at its highest in the sky Crisium faces west. The Moon does not do a massive roll-over, but maintains exactly its same orientation in the sky. The 'up' at rise is actually the 'west'-facing side, and at Moonset 12 hours later, Crisium is facing the horizon - still the westernmost point in the sky. There is no mystery, but you may not have noticed unless you looked carefully.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
20 Apr 2008, 18:45 UT. Vixen ED81S, Canon EOS 300D, 1 sec - ISO 100

Yesterday's LPOD: A Forgotten Corner

Tomorrow's LPOD: Count the Pits



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