MadSci Network: Astronomy

Re: Does the moon rise and set in the exaxt same location each day?

Date: Wed Jun 9 11:44:20 1999
Posted By: Adams Douglas, Staff, R/D, Dicon Inc.
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 924802399.As

Let's clarify your question: Does the moon rise or set at the same place on the horizon each day when viewed from the same spot? No. The apparent rising or setting location of the Moon depends on the Moon's declination, which is its angular position above or below the celestial equator. Since the Moon's orbit is inclined with respect to the Equator and the Ecliptic (the apparant path of the Sun across the sky throughout the year), the declination varies day to day. Also, the Moon's inclined orbit precesses with respect to the Earth's axis and its orbit every 18 years or so. So, over decades the Moon will sometimes have much more extreme declinations than at other times.

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