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Increasing Face Rotation
on July 31

Lunar Lunacy: A Dispatch from our Boomer on the Ground on Terra Not-So-Firma

... The moon was not moving like it was supposed to. It was out of position, too low or too high in the sky, coming up or going down in the wrong place, moving to far west, or too far east, in short, behaving not at all like a steadfast and predictable celestial object to which we pay scant attention simply because it is there all the time. ...

Where and when the moon rises and sets varies according to your position on the earth, your latitude and longitude. It also varies with whether or not you are using daylight savings time or standard time, and how far you are in terms of positive or negative hours from Greenwich England, which is where our standard meridian resides for determining time zones, etc. ...

Ultimately I found the U.S. Naval Observatory website that gives Rise, Transit and Set times for any given set of latitude and longitude coordinates on the planet. I also ultimately found a small computer program called MoonLoc – Moon Locator – that will predict the moon’s position both as an azimuth – compass heading – and altitude – how high in the sky by degrees on a circle. ...

Eventually, I began making lunar observations myself and taking notes on those observations. This particular article is going to deal with one of the most startling discoveries I made and present the evidence of my senses, using pre-existing photographs of the moon to illustrate what those observations were and are. ...

The moon as it appeared at 20:05 on July 29, 2004. Note that the Landmarks have shifted almost 60 degrees from their postions in early July, with the Buzzards Beak now at the 2:00 position, the Buzzard’s Eye at the 12:30 position and the Crater Tycho at the 5:00 position. This represents a nearly 60o shift to the counter clockwise in roughly 27 days.

Finally so the reader can get some sense of proportion to these changes I have mounted all four views of the moon’s orientation :

Figure 5 - "Normal"
Figure 6 – June 4, 2004
Figure 7 – July 3, 2004
Figure 8 – July 29, 2004

Additionally, I have used a line drawn from the bottom of the large dark area on the western face and connected across the bottom of the Buzzards Beak to illustrate the angle changes that have occurred during the two month period. I have insert a horizontal reference to the ends of these lines, but it is clear that all of these angles exceed 7o 7” of arc.

When placed side-by-side like this it becomes clear to the observer that there is disturbing and radical movement of the moon, as seen from the earth for whatever reasons may cause such movement. The Crater Tycho moves from a position low in the Southwester Quadrant of the face to a postion High in the Southwestern Quadrant, and then to a position in the lower part of the Southeastern Quatrant. I have so far heard many theories about the possible causes of this movement, but none of them have come from the astronomical community, either amateur or professional, though they have been called upon on several occasions to offer opinions.