This homepage, as well as our observatory, shall serve the care and promotion of popular astronomy, with the aim to make the spectacular events and developments in this field more understandable to the interested and open-minded person.
Observatory Talks (FAQ)
Here we give answers to questions frequently asked in the guided tours at the observatory, and explanations of astronomical terms.
The position of the moon
Why is the position of the moon at the equator or on the southern hemisphere of the earth different from ours?
The horizon is the reference line for the observer. An observer on the north pole stands in such a way that his head points in the direction of the north, his feet to the south. Its horizon is parallel to the equator. An observer at the equator is exactly perpendicular to an observer at the north pole. Therefore its horizon is also perpendicular to the horizon of the observer at the north pole. Thus it comes that in equator proximity the points of the moon crescent lie with the rising or setting of the moon frequently horizontally to the horizon. At the south pole an observer stands in such a way that his head points to the south and the feet to the north. He therefore sees the moon from exactly the opposite direction as an observer at the North Pole. So, while on the northern hemisphere the illuminated side of the waxing crescent is to the right of the observer, an observer on the southern hemisphere sees it to his left.