Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Here You Are... Wondering... About The Moon Going Crazy, Feb 6, 2012

Tonight I was "wondering" about the moon. So I got my binoculars and stepped out into the crystal clear, bright night.

And the moon looked a little strange to me. I couldn't tell why, though. So onto the Internet I went to visit all those nice people who post videos on YouTube and enlighten us on Wikipedia. Thanks, everyone!!!!

Maybe I only "discovered" something that is normal, and everyone is going to have a good chuckle. At least I found out, though, that I wasn't imagining things.

First we need to clarify "the man in the moon". Or the "rabbit", or "the pretty lady"... but especially, what I will call "the little dog". See the small crater behind the "man in the moon carrying sticks" - that's "his little dog" following him.

Well - who let the dog out?

In "official" pictures of the moon, "the little dog crater"- which I am sure has a proper Greek or Latin name, hangs around at the position of about 2 o'clock.

Well - not tonight!!! Or last night!!! The moon is dancing, and fast!!!

Last night that "little dog" crater hung out at the position way down by 5 o'clock! And tonight it is way up at about 3 minutes past midnight. That's a lot of rolling around in 24 hours!

Here is yesterday's moon, filmed by Chucky - Thanks, Chucky!!! A full view of the moon is at the (1:51) spot in the video, and at the end.

Feb 5, 2012 Video:   http://youtu.be/RiaaTvcnxFs

This is the moon a day later - tonight (2/06/2012) - and tonight's video posted by Mike - Thanks Mike!!! Nice to know I haven't lost my mind, imaging the moon taking a half spin since yesterday.

Feb 6, 2012 Video:       http://youtu.be/ybHQ4G2LTVM

Something to consider - the moon has what's called Libration. Yet - the video below is a one month time lapse - not an overnight, full moon event! 

Over one lunar month more than half of the Moon's surface can be seen from the surface of the Earth.

This may not be normal - but it may be the "new normal" as this happened last November 19-23/2011 , as well as in December 2011 - and not just during the full moon. It supposedly "prompted a response" -  certainly an article on the phenomenon, from Cornell University.

Here is the video of the November 2011 rotations, and the Cornell document (in the video, also):

I love the Cornell response which basically says: "This, and this, and this, does not explain the moon's behavior, and the only thing that could possibly explain it is a huge object in our solar system, but that would be too crazy an idea." Bet they know the real name of the "little dog" crater, though! 

Well - we do, too, now - "Mare Crisium", or "Sea of Crisis"!

Lunar nearside with major maria and craters labelled.

The poster "Medusa Media" seems to have a plausible explanation:

"Every millenium the sun has to adjust to accomodate mass burn off.
The sun shrinks in size
It's gravitational pull on the moon relaxes
Earths gravity during this phase exerts a little more pull
The moon wobbles. Given a year or so everything goes back to normal.
Strange effects such as new planets spotted or objects in front of the sun are optical illusions caused by this same gravitational effect on light within the solar system. No end of the world or alien invasion just plain old optics."

That seems simple enough. The sun has been extremely active lately. "Every millennium"? At least that would qualify as an unusual event. Who knew the sun could shrink and let the earth make the moon go crazy - sideways? Somebody write a letter to Cornell! (But spell millennium with two n-s and accommodate with two m-s).

As I am writing this - it is now 2am here in Utah - "Mare Crisium" is at almost the 3 o'clock position. And now, an hour later, it is in at the 4 o'clock position. Dancing fast! This must at least be unusual enough, that it could have been explained on the news so more people and kids could watch and understand it. If it were indeed understood and explainable.

Moon hasn't  rolled any further in the last 20 minutes - so I am going to bed.

Good Night, YouTube! Good Night, Wikipedia! Good Night, MacBookPro!
Good Night, MOON!!!

1 comment:

Mayke said...

Leaving a comment on my own post. I remember that night - such a beautiful, clear night I couldn't go to bed and watched the moon all night. Turns out all this moving of "the little dog" is normal - it has to do with the angle of the earth to the moon according to my stargazing neighbor. I felt foolish, but wouldn't trade "discovering" for myself that night how much the moon seems to move - and I did learn about libation. And that possibly gigantic object in the solar system according to Cornell - that still is intriguing. The moon is moving in strange ways - just not in the ways I had thought.