The Tilted Divider on the Moon

Many have commented on the recent phases of the Moon observed on its side. Discussions on various web sites point the public to a conclusion that this is a normal event, but what is lacking is documentation backing the claim. Yes this event has occurred in the past, so what makes the recent appearances any different than the norm? To get at the crux of this phenomena, one must examine the variables. So lets eliminate the constants. The Sun and Earth exists in the same orbital plane, this does not change under normal circumstances. The Moon revolves around the earth slightly askew about the ecliptic plane, elongation varying by 5 percent. This does not change, but becomes a visual variable from the surface of the Earth. The second variable is the tilt of the Earth during the orbital period to the north and south axis of the Earth, a variable moving to the extremes of 23.5 degrees. History of this anomaly, the Moon observed tilted to the side occurs rarely when a maximums or near of deviations both variables coincides usually around the winter solstice. Thus, the tilt in a crescent or other phases of the Moon exhibits an extreme from the normal 12 to 6 o’clock position of the dividing line observed.

The Diagram 1 below, exhibits normal placement of the Earth within the ecliptic plane. The Moon pictured above the Earth is misleading because it also revolves in or near the ecliptic. This is not accurate for Earth to Moon placement, but is true in relationship to the Sun.

Diagram 1

In Diagram 2, the Earth is pushed by the repulsion force up into the ecliptic due the southern approach of the 12th planet. Viewing the Moon now takes on the appearance that it is being lit from Sun which has moved south.

Diagram 2

In Diagram 3, the normal placement of the dividing separating the lit side from the shadow is in the 12 to 6 o’clock position (shown on the right) during all but a few rare phases during the year if at all. Now the lit side of the Moon on its back is commonplace as the dividing default position has shifted as seen on the left on the diagram.

Diagram 3