Tagged: Libration

The Moon’s Beating Heart

In the month of January we have the first full Moon of 2007. The internet is frantic with movies of the Moon’s phases throughout any given month. We are accustomed to examining its phases throughout the course of a cycle such as below:

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

In another approach to analyze the cycles of the Moon, http://www.pixheaven.net/ decided to illustrate the varying distances and wobble phases of each full Moon last year dating back 20 full Moons to May of 2005. The results they collected are below:



  1. May ’05:
  2. June ’05:
  3. July ’05: 
  4. August ’05:
  5. September ’05:
  6. October ’05:
  7. November ’05: 
  8. December ’05:
  9. January ’06:
  10. February ’06:
  11. March ’06:
  12. April ’06:
  13. May ’06:
  14. June ’06: 
  15. July ’06: 
  16. August ’06: 
  17. September ’06: 
  18. October ’06: 
  19. November ’06:
  20. December ’06: 
  21. January ’07: 


It is excellent that the Moon would not only inaugurate the year so quickly with this luminous full Moon, but also in its own domicile, . The below animation is built on the above images. When you stop to observe the difference between each full Moon, there is a definitive difference depending on each frame in proximity and libration.


The irregular elliptical orbit of the moon is intensified through this snapshot of each full moon, as the orbit is neither a perfect circle, or centered exactly around the earth.

The lunar apogee and perigee of the Moon is different in these shots, giving the impression of a beating heart. This might indicate a reason why some Full Moons are more intense in nature, corresponding to the environment, and the emotional sway of people. Does the Moon consistently beat stronger in certain signs? here is the amount of difference the size between the lunar apogee and perigee is:

Image courtesy of Anthony Ayiomamitis

The apogee and perigee are explained below. The Apogee is the farthest the Moon can be from the Earth, and the Perigee is the closest the Moon orbits to the earth.

Image courtesy of The National Maritime Museum:

In the end, not only can we view the waxing and waning appearance of the Moon and view her many faces in the course of a month, but now we can see and feel her pulse on the earth, over a longer period of time. If you are curious enough, review the listing of zodiac signs in which the moon was full, and see if you can pick up on which zodiac signs the Moon was the closest and the farthest. Were these heated times for society? This ‘beat’ that the Moon animates itself with, truly adds another facet to looking at the earth as a cosmic animal, with the Sun and Moon pumping and churning the earth’s mantel on a continual basis, much like the heart in our own bodies.

Love the Moon with all of your heart