Moon Along the ecliptic

   As the Earth and Moon orbit the Sun together the Moon follows an orbital path that takes it along the plane of the ecliptic (Earth’s orbit), sometimes above, and sometimes below. At least twice each orbit or during during the calendar period for that orbit the Moon will cross the ecliptic either as an ascending node or a descending node.
   As this short video shows the Moon will follow a path along the ecliptic and as it does so it will pass some of the brighter stars and planets that are arranged on or near the ecliptic.
   You may also notice a steady shift of the sky toward the west. This is the effect of the Earth in motion, revolving, around the Sun. Since the Earth covers the 360o orbit in approximately 365 days the Earth moves almost 1o each day, and the sky in turn has the noticeable westward shift of the same amount.

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Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

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4 thoughts on “Moon Along the ecliptic

  1. The recent total solar eclipse has me thinking about the moon’s orbit. It’s shadow’s path on the surface of the Earth varies so much from one eclipse to the next. That’s always been hard for me to visualize. Nothing is neat and tidy about orbits.


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