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Thread: How does moon turn upside-down from evening to dawn?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    44

    How does moon turn upside-down from evening to dawn?

    I am keen to know why the
    rabbit-like mark (surface etching) on the moon's
    suface appears top-down on full moon day (or any other
    day when the moon is almost full) at early evening, but by
    early morning, the moon appears upside down. Why?

    Likewise, I had observed the Great Bear constellation
    of seven stars as viewed from Earth in May/June seems
    to travel in some inverted way.

    I have heard of some relative motion theory, but don't
    exactly understand it? Are there any graphics that can
    explain in detail the angles of earth's motion in
    relation to other celestial objects?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,011
    Earths Moon has the same side ( face ) towards us at all times. As it orbits the Earth the same side facess us. From a point way above the north or south pole you would note that the Moon does spin, but only once in 28 days. The time it takes to get right around Earth. To answer your question you only need to 'see' that soon after rising, What looks like the top of the Moon will be the bottom by the time it has gone right over head and down to the western setting point. The whole of the sky does this becouse its not them that is doing the moving. Its us. The planet Earth is rotating. You are moving west to east right now. So its not the Moon doing the moving its us.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    7,816
    When the Moon rises, the eastern limb is near the eastern horizon, so it appears to be "down". Conversely, when it sets, the western limb is near the western horizon, so it appears to be "down".

    Try this. When the Moon is rising, lay down on your left side (i.e. with your head pointing north). The eastern limb of the Moon will be on the left. Later, when the Moon is setting, lay down on your right side (again, with your head pointig north). The eastern limb of the Moon will still be on the left. It is all a matter of perception and perspective.

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