Hello, after watching my first lunar eclipse last winter, I've taken an interest in the workings of our sun and moon. What is the best way to understand the movement of the Moon in the night sky throughout the year?

I think that a “hands-on” picture or a movie can help you visualize this better than a thousand times. I invite you to download one of the many free planetarium programs available online (disclaimer: the links provided below are not checked or endorsed by the University or the Observatory) and observe the path of the Moon throughout the sky every night.

My favourite free planetarium software is Stellarium.

Also, you might want to try SkyCharts and Celestia. Most of the programs I mentioned are available for Windows, Mac OS X or Linux.

Have fun!

Stefano Meschiari - Graduate Student, UC Santa Cruz