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Northerly Major Lunar Standstill

 

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Northerly Major Lunar Standstill

Winter solstice; the Northerly Major Lunar Standstill alignment. Comparisons between Lundy Island and Stonehenge.

Lunar Standstill

"At what is called the Major Lunar Standstill, the moon reaches its maximum northern and southern rising points on the horizon. Solstices of a kind, though this analogy is not really accurate. In the year of a major standstill it is the winter full moon which achieves the northerly rising extreme, and the summer full moon the southerly extreme. Also in a major standstill year, the arc of the moon across the sky can vacillate quite rapidly between being very high at times, to little more than skimming the horizon at others ó a very dramatic and noticeable phenomenon, especially at higher latitudes. This is because in a single month in a Major Standstill year the moonís orbit carries it well above and well below the ecliptic.
"At the Minor Standstill year, nine years and a few months later, the winter full moon rises as far south of the midsummer sun rise Position as it ever does while the midsummer full moon rises as far north of the midwinter sunrise position as it can. So the spread of the horizon between rising and setting positions is the narrowest that occurs." - Devereux

The most northerly moon rise occurs, roughly, once every nineteen years.

 

Big Map
At Stonehenge  centre - stone D and stone 92 - stone G
from Lundy  Bannau Brycheiniog in the Black Mountains
 

Black Mntn 41.80287696  Bannau Brycheiniog 2632' high place Brychan

Caer Caradoc 41.85201856 2

 
Equinox and Solstice
The points of intersection of the Ecliptic and the celestial equator  are called the nodes or more commonly the equinoxes. Currently the vernal, or spring, equinox occurs around the 21st of March. The autumnal equinox occurs around the 23rd of September. Midway between the equinoxes are the winter solstice around the 22nd of December and the summer solstice, the 21st of June. ( Solstice means 'sun stands still' )
Because the equator and the ecliptic rotate in opposite directions to each other the position of the equinoxes on the ecliptic moves about one degree every seventy years. ( It takes 25,868 years for the ecliptic and the celestial equator to return to the same relative positions). 
   

 

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