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12/08/2022 – Ephemeris – Tonight’s full-ish Moon is near where the June solstice Sun was

December 8, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Thursday, December 8th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 54 minutes, setting at 5:02, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:08. The Moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 5:10 this evening.

The bright Moon near full in December rises very high in the south around midnight to 1 am. It is near where the Sun is at the summer solstice. Actually, tonight it is to the lower right of the constellation of Gemini, and to give a topical reference. Tonight, the Moon appears as a soccer ball being kicked by Castor, one of the twins. It’s right off the toe of his foot. In June, the Sun and Full Moon’s positions are reversed. The Sun rises very high in the southern sky at local noon, while the full moon stays low in the south. Or Moon is odd in that respect, Most large satellites of the other planets orbit over their primary’s equator. Our Moon’s orbit is aligned to about 5 degrees off Earth’s own orbit of the Sun, which is angled at 23 and a half degrees from Earth’s equator.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EST, UT –5 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The Moon near the summer solstice point

The Moon near the summer solstice point overnight tonight at 1:15 am (the 9th). The sky is overlaid with the equatorial grid. The bright blue line that runs just above Orion’s belt is the celestial equator. The declination lines match Earth’s latitude lines are 10 degrees apart. The vertical blue lines are right ascension lines, like earthly longitude lines, and are 15 degrees apart. Each one represents one hour. The orange line is the ecliptic, the path of the Sun in the sky, also the plane of the Earth’s orbit. The red line is the Moon’s orbit, which is inclined by about 5 degrees to the ecliptic. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using Stellarium and LibreOffice Draw.