Originally posted by CherubBaby
reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
Let me help you out here Soylent. The sun appears to go around the earth. This apparent path of the sun is called the ecliptic. The ecliptic is
roughly in line with the equator. This means that at the equator if you look up at noon the sun is often directly overhead. This path of the sun
deviates from the equator by a maximum of 23.5 degrees. The path of the sun crosses the equator at the equinoxes, fall and spring. The 23.5 degree
variation mark is hit halfway between these two occurrences, one each above and below the equator. That coincides with the soltices, summer and
winter. The moon appears to travel across the sky never more than 5 degrees away from the path of the sun. Do the math.
You'd have to be very giving to consider the ecliptic even roughly in line with the Earth's equator considering we're tilted approx 23 degrees off of
it. The ecliptic is the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun...it is called the ecliptic because the ancients that studied the moon, etc, as the
people in this post having been talking about, traced this path by where in the sky eclipses of the Sun and Moon would occur. The ecliptic is roughly
close to the Sun's equator, not Earth's.
As the other graphic Soylent posted shows the Earth's tilt, it also shows the moon's orbit is tilted off the ecliptic by about 5 degrees.
The only person who argued that you were lying about the moon 'pointing down' so to speak was earlier in the thread...which they did not edit out your
date stamp in the photo btw...they rotated the picture which means the time stamp is now in the Upper right corner of the image reading bottom to top
instead of the bottom right reading left to right. I just looked at it not 5 minutes ago so I can assure you that you can go back and see for
yourself...just scroll over on the image.
You're getting pretty worked up by people agreeing that the moon does indeed look this way just because they're trying to explain to you why it's not
unusual? People often take things like the sun and moon for granted and even though they are impossible to miss, that doesn't mean people pay
attention to them all that closely. We humans can be pretty involved in our own petty lives to check the moon's phase and position every night, or
really hardly ever.
I will admit you have to be good at visualizing to understand the the diagrams some have posted. Suffice to say, that the majority of the populated
areas of Northern hemisphere are currently above the ecliptic during the day, and below or almost right on the ecliptic during the night.
Simple graphic would be sorta like this for the winter.
During the summer, it would look like this
With the northern hemisphere tilted Towards the Sun, not because the Earth leaned the other way, but because we are on the other side of our orbit
around the Sun.
As you can see, from an outside perspective, the Earth maintains roughly the same universal direction of it's axial tilt. The Earth is always tilted
the same relative direction, but it's position around the sun changes.
This means that parts of the northern hemisphere are above the ecliptic during winter day, which is why it gets colder, and then dip below the
ecliptic at night...because again, the Earth is stays tilted away from the sun as we rotate around to the night side.
The reverse is true in the summer because the Earth is still tilted in basically the same direction. The areas that tilted on or below the ecliptic
during the winter at night, are now doing so during the day which causes it to get warmer.
So if you can picture all of that and understand...now imagine the moon. It does not orbit around Earth's equator. It is only off the ecliptic by
approx 5 degrees. So while it's apparent phases do not change, their rotation when viewed at night most-certainly will change perspective throughout
edit on 4-11-2011 by Dashdragon because: (no reason given)