The Moon Sways Through Its Phases in an Incredible Timelapse Made from Over 2 Million Images

In lunar astronomy, a phenomenon known as libration is the perception that the Moon is wavering or swaying in the sky when viewed from Earth. Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy (previously) wanted to record this fascinating occurrence in high resolution to emphasize the changes in light and contrast across the vast and cratered lunar surface.

For nearly a month, he traveled around the state of Arizona in search of clear skies, dodging bad weather and a dust storm to capture clear images of the Moon as it reached its zenith every night. In total, over 2 million individual photographs comprise the final timelapse, and each full image in the animation includes between 30,000 and 200,000 image files. A print edition is also available on his website that highlights different features through each phase as it waxes and wanes.

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