I was thinking about the orbits of stars around the galactic center, and how I had read somewhere that they bob up and down like a horse on a carousel. At first, that description seemed strange, but it occurred to me that since the galaxy is essentially a disc, when a star is high above the plane it will tend to be gravitationally pulled back down, thus cycling above and below the galactic plane several times during its orbit.
But I never did understand the exact mechanism by which the ascending node and perigee of the Moon would precess due to solar perturbations, nor for that matter why those of LEO satellites precess due to the Earth's obliquity.
As I think about it though, it seems that if a body were bobbing up and down in its orbit, and this up & down motion were just slightly faster or slower than the orbit itself, what you would actually have is none other than an inclined orbit with a precessing or processing node.
So, my question is: is it that the pull of the Sun on the Moon's orbit "averages out" into a plane of gravitational pull, and would the formulae that calculate an LEO satellite's precessions also work for those of the Moon and of stars circling the galaxy?