POTD: Gondola Moon

POTD: Gondola MoonGondola Moon Grenada, Nicaragua 2013

I though it was unusual that the “horns” of the crescent moon pointed upward in Grenada instead of sideways like I thought they always did at home. This gondola moon as I called it is more commonly called a wet moon. It turns out I was only partially right. The apparent angle of the  crescent moon’s horns does vary by latitude, but also by season due to the changing of the inclination of the moon’s orbit relative to the earth. The more perpendicular the orbit to where you are on earth, the more of a wet moon you have. At the equator the angle of the orbit changes little over the seasons and the moon always rises and sets more or less vertically. The result is  wet moons being the norm. As you move towards the poles however, the angle of the moon’s orbit changes more dramatically with the seasons and you only get wet moons (or partially wet moons) in the winter time. That I don’t remember seeing a wet moon up north is probably due to not getting out much at night in winter months, or a poor memory, or both.]]>