The last 20 full moons, from May, 2005 until December, 2006. APoD points to this animation of the sequence, but I think it’s a little clumsy, so I made my own. I can do that, can’t I? Only, my .gif animation dingus crapped out and I had to download…look, are we here to talk about my problems or look at the moon?
Yeah, I know why you come here. I see your pathetic Google searches. You’re here for the boobies. And the panty pulling. You certainly aren’t here to follow my nice educational link to the Astronomy Picture of the Day. (In the sidebar. Moron.). So I’ll just have to bring APoD over here and scrub your eyeballs with it.
Tonight is the first full moon of 2007. In honor of this, APoD ran with this image of the prior twenty full moons. All the images are shot to the same scale; the apparent motion is called libration. The change in visual size is because the moon’s orbit around the earth is off center (libration in longitude). The slight rocking motion (libration in latitude) is down to the moon’s axis being slightly tilted. There’s an additional small and subtle effect (diurnal libration), which is caused by variation in earth’s position relative to the moon.
Okay, Wikipedia’s animation is even cooler than mine. This is the moon’s libration over the course of one full lunar cycle, September, 2005.
Enough with the Mr Wizard already. Sorry about the file sizes; .gif files won’t compress much. I’ve just wasted, like, two percent of my WordPress disk allotment on you mouthbreathers. You can go back to your boobies and your panty pulling now (though god knows where you’ll find them — not here, chum).
I have to go do something that sounds like “libration” but with substantially less “r.”