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File:Lunar libration with phase2.gif

Lunar_libration_with_phase2.gif(356 × 334 pixels, file size: 932 KB, MIME type: image/gif, looped, 50 frames, 5.0 s)

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This file was a finalist in Picture of the Year 2006.
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Picture of the day

This image was selected as picture of the day on Wikimedia Commons for 9 August 2006. It was captioned as follows:

English: Lunar libration



English: Lunar libration. see below for more descriptions
Français : Librations de la lune. Voir une description détaillée en dessous.
Deutsch: Die Libration des Mondes. Für weitere Informationen, siehe unten
Українська: Лібрації Місяця . Більш детальний опис див. нижче
中文: 月球的 天秤动。 更多描述参见下面的内容
Date 2005-09-16 (published on Commons)
Source English Wikipedia, original upload 7 September 2005 by Tomruen
Author Tomruen


Public domain I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain. This applies worldwide.
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  • Book: "Astronomical Formulae for Calculators, 4th edition", Jean Meeus, 1988, published by "Willmann-Bell, Inc"
    • Chapter 30 "Position of the Moon"

Source bitmap for projection from NRL's Clementine Spacecraft:

  • Animation
    • 50 frames were created, equally spaced in time.
    • Period used: 27.21222 days (Draconic month of nodes)
    • Animation began and ended at Apogee to minimize "jumping" when cycles back to the start.
    • New moon given an unreal 1% intensity "Ambient light" to show motion in all phases.
    • View assumed from the centre of the earth. (Geometrically impossible, but best demonstration of monthly libration caused by moon's motion versus the shorter daily libration that would be included from the surface of the earth.)

Astronomical events

  • Sept 1, 2:23 UT - Apogee - Moon farthest from earth's centre [Cancer]
  • Sept 3, 1:48 UT - New Moon [Leo]
  • Sept 6, 10:53 UT - Descending Node - On ecliptic circle, heading north to south. [Virgo]
  • Sept 11, 11:40 UT - First Quarter - Rises around noon, and at zenith near sunset [Scorpio]
  • Sept 13, 6:21 UT - Southern Limit - At farthest ecliptic south of the moon's orbit. [Sagittarius]
    • Also near farthest south declination as well.
  • Sept 16, 13:54 UT - Perigee - Closest point on orbit to earth's centre. [Aquarius]
  • Sept 18, 2:04 UT - Full Moon - A "large and southern" moon up all night! [Pisces]
  • Sept 18, 8:11 UT - Ascending Node - On ecliptic, heading south to north. [Pisces]
  • Sept 25, 6:44 UT - Third Quarter - Rises after midnight, near zenith around sunrise. [Gemini]
  • Sep 26, 5:17 UT - Northern Limit - At farthest ecliptic north point of the moon's orbit. [Gemini]
    • Also near farthest north declination as well.
  • Sep 28, 15:31 UT - Apogee - Farthest point on orbit from earth's centre. [Cancer]
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Valued image

This image has been assessed under the valued image criteria and is considered the most valued image on Commons within the scope: Lunar phases. You can see its nomination at Commons:Valued image candidates/Lunar libration with phase2.gif.

The following pages on Schools Wikipedia link to this image (list may be incomplete):


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