Northern Moon


At high northern latitudes, moonrises & moonsets are quite difficult events to keep track of in our skies.


Where you saw it rise or set the night before is not where it will rise or set the next night…though it may be close sometimes.


The lunar phases as always are accurate during waxing & waning but the angled arc the moon takes raises & lowers constantly.


In summertime the moon’s arc barely rises above the southern horizon for about 5-6 hours, while our daylight hours range from about 20 hours to never setting in the high north.


In wintertime our moon & sun switch places, where the moon has a longer higher arc & even north of the Arctic Circle will make a full circle around the horizon.


With virgin snow-cover a fullmoon will light up the land almost, but not quite, like “daytime”, as snow has the highest reflective quality of anything on Earth & can be viewed lit up from space.


The shadowed portion of a crescent moon is visible because of “Earth-shine”…if one were standing on the moon at crescent phase you would be looking at a “Full-Earth”.


Due to the oscillating arc angle of the moon, it rises & sets over many exquisite vistas at different seasons of the year…sometimes even rising or setting 2-3 times behind mountain ranges.


Whether in full, half, crescent or eclipsed phase, the northern moon sweeps the skies in constant flux, which must have absolutely mystified the First Peoples of the northern hemisphere over the ages.



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