Saturday, November 24, 2012

Here's something cool

Here's something for all fans of Earth's beautiful natural satellite and it is really cool! This NASA animation shows the phases of our Moon for the entire year of 2013.

As you watch the animation, you'll notice that the Moon seems to rock back and forth, tipping and tilting over the course of every month. That action is due to the Moon's orbit being elliptical and slightly tilted with respect to the Earth's equator. The motion is called libration, and because of it we see the Moon from a slightly different angle each day
There's a lot of information here and it helps to pause the animation from time to time when you first watch it in order to take it all in.
The NASA website for the animation has much more information and details about the video, and starting in 2013, the image of the Moon at the top will automatically change every hour to represent the actual view of the real Moon. For those of us who assiduously watch and follow the phases of the Moon, this is just one more thing for us to obsess about. But it's a good thing.