Up-side down moon? - MyMoon

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Did you know that to an observer in the southern hemisphere, the Moon appears "up-side down?" It's true. Of course, "up-side down" is a relative term. To anyone in the northern hemisphere, a full Moon looks like it does in the image below:

inline imageThis image was taken from Belgium by Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.be.

A northern hemisphere observer would consider this "right-side up." However, in the southern hemisphere, an observer sees the Moon like this:

inline imagePhoto taken from Australia by Derek Graham.

To someone living in the southern hemisphere, the Moon looks "right-side up" in this image. Why the difference?

Observers in the southern hemisphere stand on the opposite side of the globe from observers in the northern hemisphere. In essence, we are "upside down" from each other. As a result, northern and southern hemisphere observers see the Moon from a different vantage point. Here's a thought experiment that may make it easier to understand.


Nick A.

Monday Mar-12-2012

I've wondered about that...seen random photos of the moon that people have used, and seen it upside down and had that "... ... ?" moment XD

Andy S.

Monday Mar-12-2012

I never thought about it until an issue came up last year with some promotional materials for International Observe the Moon Night. Folks in the southern hemisphere noted that the Moon as depicted on the Moon map did not look that way to them. It is an interesting issue. So, the next question is, which way is right-side up in space?

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