Old 26-12-2018, 05:38 PM
morls (Stephen)
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Moon setting further north?

This morning I was up early-ish and noticed the moon was setting. It seemed to be much further north than usual, maybe around 25-30 degrees. Am I going mad? It certainly seemed to be in a part of the sky it shouldn't have been...

Very strange indeed.
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Old 26-12-2018, 06:47 PM
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Nikolas (Nik)
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perfectly normal the moon's orbit is not the same each month, Sometimes it sets further north sometimes further south
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Old 26-12-2018, 06:52 PM
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This will be the case in the coming years. The lunar orbit inclines 5 degrees with the eclipic, but the nodes change gradually. The 'node period' of the Moon is 18.6 years which means that when the ascending node is at the first point of Virgo (ecliptic longitude 180 degrees) will be 5 degrees less than 23 degrees which is 18 degrees which is the maximum declination of the Moon.
That was the case in 2016.When it is in the first point of Pisces (ecliptic longitude 0 degrees) the inclination with the celestial equator will be an extra five degrees which will happen in 2025, so the Moon can be at 28 degrees declination, which results that a mdsummer full moon (like 22 dec) reaches declination 28 degrees N and sets closer to the North. The same applies to the midwinter full moon in June (or last quarter in March or first quarter in September).
When the declination of the Moon is 28 deg S, it will pass in the zenith on latitude 28 S which is in Gold Coast at the QLD/NSW border.
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Old 26-12-2018, 07:00 PM
morls (Stephen)
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Very interesting. thank you both.
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Old 26-12-2018, 07:16 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Do you have a laptop or PC ?
If so , download Stellarium ( itís free ) it will show you the movement of everything in our night sky 365 days a year ( including the moon )
You can even fast forward the clock to show what phase the moon will be on a particular night
I live by my planetarium, Stellarium !!
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Old 26-12-2018, 08:57 PM
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Or Cartes du Ciel...
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