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miguel87

Full moon altitudes

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Posted (edited)

Obviously this whole self isolation thing has given me too much time to think.

I was reading 'welcome to the universe's by neil degrass tyson and co. A fantastic book in my opinion, and I was studying the simple illustration of the the sun, moon and earth with rotation axis labelled and earth's seasons illustrated.

Is it the case that full moons during summer are lower in the sky than those in winter? I am thinking this because the moons orbit is more closely related to the plane of the solar system rather than earth's equator.

I could be very wrong. Or perhaps I am right but it is common knowledge?

Thanks

Mike ✌

Edited by miguel87
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Yes, the Moon is roughly on the ecliptic, so if the Sun has a high altitude (in the summer), the full Moon (opposite of the Sun) has a low altitude. That's because the Earth's axis is tilted about 23 degrees with respect to the ecliptic (the orbit of the Earth around the Sun).

Another way to look at this is the constellations on the zodiac. In summer nights these constellations are low above the horizon from the northen hemisphere (like Scorpius and Sagittarius), so all objects moving through these constellations (the planets and the Moon) have a low altitude too. In the winter, the zodiac constellations are high up: Gemini, Taurus, and so are the planets and the Moon.

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Brilliant thanks, I guess it was just something I never considered. Those cold winter nights with a full moon high up in the sky; it's not just pathetic fallacy but an actual difference in the prominence of the moon.

Great explanation with the zodiac.

Thanks

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This chart that I created should be helpful. Near the top is a sinusoidal curve of Full Moon declinations, that illustrates the matter under discussion.

 

Full-Moons.JPG.9f61b05b931dede41bae8735f608d371.JPG

 

 

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1 minute ago, CentaurZ said:

This chart that I created should be helpful. Near the top is a sinusoidal curve of Full Moon declinations, that illustrates the matter under discussion.

 

Full-Moons.JPG.9f61b05b931dede41bae8735f608d371.JPG

 

 

Perfectly illustrated. Beautiful thanks

Mike

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