Moonrise from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres

April 24, 2023

Two Hemispheres  One Moon copy (1)

Photographers: Lucy Yunxi Hu and Soumyadeep Mukherjee
Summary Authors: Soumyadeep Mukherjee and Lucy Yunxi Hu

Shown above is the rising full moon as observed from Dhanbad, India in the Northern Hemisphere (top) and from Canberra, Australia in the Southern Hemisphere (bottom). Both photos were taken on the same day, March 7, 2023. The rise (and setting) of the moon appears to be oriented in different directions in the Northern and Southern hemisphere. In the Northern hemisphere, the moon rises in the east-southeast direction, moves across the southern sky and sets in the west-southwest direction. However, in the Southern Hemisphere, we observe the moonrise in the east-northeast direction and moonset is in the west-northwest direction.
Moonrise and moonset (also sunrise and sunset) show the tilt of the local horizon relative to the axis. It's the location on the sphere that determines the angle at which the sun or moon rise relative to the local horizon. Thank you to Prof. Nick Schneider for help with this explanation. 


Dhanbad, India Coordinates: 23.7957, 86.4304

Canberra, Australia Coordinates: -35.2802, 149.1310

Related Links:

Moonrise Sequence from Sardinia, Italy

Soumyadeep's Website