I posted for several years over at Rumor Mill News. While I was there I ran a series of posts that dealt with the rather unusual orbital behavior exhibited by the Earth's moon over the last 12 or so months. Case in point: Many folks are not aware that the moon rises farther to the East each night by 13.56 degrees. (give or take a few points) For twenty years I had observed this very pattern. I have a great deal of familiarity with the heavens due to the fact that I am outside most of the night, all year long, due to the demands of my profession. Now, beginning in Feb. Of 2004, the post full moon, (or waning moon) suddenly began to rise 8 to 13 degrees farther to the WEST each night! I instantly was aware of this anomaly for the reasons stated previously. This pattern of consecutive westward rises during the first quarter of the waning moon continued regularly from Feb. 2004 until June of 2004. Note: (the second quarter of the waning moon during those months rose as it should have, consecutively to the east, but in huge increments each night.)
I documented these anomalous rises and after encountering a great deal of initial skepticism from those who hadn't bothered to look for themselves, gradually began to reach the point where people did begin to look into the matter and realize that there was indeed something odd going on. This particular anomaly suddenly ceased following the full moon of July 3/4. Readers may recall that interestingly enough, it was that particular moon cycle which was the one that was in force during the great meteor strikes of June 2004 and the world wide Naval "exercise" in which a majority of the capital ships of the world's major navies all stood out to sea! Anyway, following the July 3 full moon, I assumed that normalcy had returned, but such was not to be the case. Though the moon now began a pattern of normal consecutive eastward rises, it still exhibited odd orbital behavior including exceptionally low waxing southern transits and exceptionally high northern wane rises following the full moon.
Any astronomer will tell you that the moon travels in an equatorial orbit (in relation to earth) this orbit deviates no more that 23 or so degrees from the plane of the elliptic. Also, it is a nearly circular orbit (e=0.05) and is tilted about 5° to the plane of the Earth's orbit. The moon's average distance from the Earth is 384,400 km. The Moon's orbital period is 27.32 days. Because of this orbital motion, the Moon appears to move about 13° eastward against the stars each day, or about half of a degree per hour. If you watch the Moon over the course of several hours one night, you will notice that its position among the stars will slowly change by a few degrees. Of course, most folks know that the changing position of the Moon with respect to the Sun is what gives us our lunar phases. So, if in fact, the moon maintains and equatorial orbit in relation to the plane of the eliptic and only deviates no more than 23 degrees north and south, WHAT does this tell us when we see the moon rising at 20 degrees off of magnetic north, transiting across the sky for 14 hours, highly visible the entire time, including during daylight hours in which time it remained completely visible while less that 30 degrees from the sun at high noon, (and until it set at 4:38pm) and THEN rises again less than 8 hours later? This is what it did two days ago!
My interest was also captured by the observation that normal lunar libration could not account for the rotational twist of the moon that appeared to take place in July and Aug. During those two cycles, the moon appeared to rotate clockwise during it's evening transit so that features such as the crater Tycho which normally begin the evening at the 5 o'clock position, often ended the evening's transit in the 9 o'clock position! That peculiarity was especially pronounced in July and Aug, and it too, seemed to obviate itself in the September cycle. In the September cycle the interest point was the exceptionally large and premature consecutive east and then northward movement of the first quarter waning moon. The first quarter of the wane had yet to pass and the moon was already rising at 28 degrees east of magnetic north. Now, one must imagine where the moon would be in relation to the earth if it is rising at 28 degrees east of north at latitude 46 west! Something is up!
This does not necessarily mean that any potential problem lies exclusively or even at all, with just the moon. It could be, (and most likely is) a problem involving the earth; primarily. Events appear to be happening TO the moon, simply due to the relativity of our perspective originating from within its earthbound parameters. Anyway, this is why I am keeping track of, and posting the data, concerning the moon. Readers who would like to learn more about this odd and so far unexplainable phenomena can access the moon posts of myself and other writers that are being held in the archives of Rumor Mill News.
CliffMickelson, posted September 10, 2004