Image Credit: Ernie Wright, Data Visualization • David Ladd, Video Producer • Music: "Calling It a Night" - Written by Matt Cusson. Vocal and Piano by Matt Cusson. 23 Jump Shots ASCAP. © 2017
Published: January 14, 2020

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This visualization shows the Moon's phase at hourly intervals throughout 2020, as viewed from the Northern hemisphere.The Moon always keeps the same face to us, but not exactly the same face. Because of the tilt and shape of its orbit, we see the Moon from slightly different angles over the course of a month. When a month is compressed into 24 seconds, as it is in this animation, our changing view of the Moon makes it look like it's wobbling. This wobble is called libration, from libra, the scale.

In addition, this visualization shows the moon's orbit position, sub-Earth and subsolar points, and distance from the Earth at true scale. Craters near the terminator are labeled, as are Apollo landing sites, maria, and other features in sunlight.

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