Coolest picture you’ll see today: Lunation.

The folks over at Astronomy Picture of the Day have a cool time-lapse photo of the moon’s lunation up today. What is a lunation? The site describes it as so:

Our Moon’s appearance changes nightly. This time-lapse sequence shows what our Moon looks like during a lunation, a complete lunar cycle. As the Moon orbits the Earth, the half illuminated by the Sun first becomes increasingly visible, then decreasingly visible. The Moon always keeps the same face toward the Earth. The Moon’s apparent size changes slightly, though, and a slight wobble called a libration is discernible as it progresses along its elliptical orbit. During the cycle, sunlight reflects from the Moon at different angles, and so illuminates different features differently. A full lunation takes about 29.5 days, just under a month (moon-th).

It’s a pretty cool gif animation that gives you a new perspective of something you see all the time because it reveals details that can’t be noticed without the benefit of speeding up time.

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