Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy managed to record how the Moon swings around the Earth during a lunar month.
The American photographer spent hundreds of hours for 22 consecutive nights, taking thousands of photos of the Moon as it grew and then decreased through almost a full orbit. When all images put together in a video allow us to see how the angle at which we observe our satellite changes as it rotates.
This wobble, known as “libration”, is due to the tilt and shape of the Moon’s orbit allowing us to see it from slightly different angles over the course of a month.
The video composed of thousands of carefully aligned images shows this cosmic dance of our satellite.
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“Locked in an eternal cosmic dance, this little wiggle is caused by the angle of the Moon’s elliptical orbit and the position of the observer,” explained the photographer.
The movement also allows observers to see many of the moon’s craters from different angles and in different lights.