Originally posted by CherubBaby
...But it is supposed to happen only on the equator...
I've posted this before, but maybe you missed it. This graphic shows why the Moon can look almost horizontal on winter nights when seen from the
Northern Hemisphere -- it's because the night side of the Northern Hemisphere is heavily tilted toward the south in the winter:
Right now (two weeks after the winter solstice), the Earth's equator is actually tilted 23° toward the south -- the equator at the moment IS NOT
aligned with the ecliptic plane, which is more-or-less the point directly beneath the Moon.
The part of the earth that is aligned with the Moon and the ecliptic plane in the winter is actually 23° NORTH of the equator -- in places such as
That means that other parts of the Northern hemisphere (say, for example the Central U.S. at the 40th parallel) would see the moon looking as
horizontal as it would seem from the equator right now because 40° north latitude is actually closer to the ecliptic plane than the equator is, as
shown buy this math:
At 40° North Latitude
40° North Lat "minus" 23° North Lat (the latitude aligned with the Moon and the ecliptic at the moment) =
= 17° away from being in line with the Moon and the ecliptic,
Which is closer to being aligned with the ecliptic than the equator, which is tilted
23° +/- SOUTH from being aligned with the moon and the ecliptic. (17° < 23°)
Therefore, from 40° North latitude, the moon will look just as (if not more) horizontal than from the equator -- ALTHOUGH the tilted moon as seen
from the equator will look like a mirror-image as the tilted moon as seen from 40° North. From 40° North, the left side of the Moon will look
rotated down. From the equator the right side of the moon will look rotated down. It will be opposite, since they are opposite sides of the ecliptic
Im curious what you are going to say when it happens every month ? You gonna tell us thats normal too? Wait and see friend.
No -- it won't be normal if the Moon looks almost horizontal in the summer. However, in all my years of watching the Moon, it has been almost
horizontal in the winter, but less so in the summer. I have no reason to believe it would be any different this year, considering the moon looks
completely normal at the moment.
The Moon will look heavily rotated toward the horizontal at Moonset and Moonrise through the Winter and into spring. In the late spring/summer/early
fall, the Moon will took less horizontal from the Northern hemisphere. It will be a little rotated at night when it rises or sets, but it won't look
as horizontal as it does now.
That's because the NIGHT side of the Northern hemisphere in the summer will be tilted up toward the North, away from the ecliptic (basically opposite
of what you see on the graphic above).
edit on 1/3/2012 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)