A dear and highly respected friend has let us know that a number of individuals around the world have noted they had seen something odd about the position of the Moon on or around July 19th of this year. There is a thread dedicated to this on a website that used to be quite popular in these woods, but not lately. What's more, the very fact that the thread was posted there was reason for severe scepticism and mild eye-rolling.
However, it turned out that our friend had experienced this "phenomenon" herself (and posted about it in a reply to the thread).
She said she had been "startled" by the position of the Moon compared to where it "should" have been, taking into account the normal trajectory of the Moon. It appeared to her that it rose earlier than it should have, and significantly more to the North and to the East than she would have expected.
She checked it against her faithful Stellarium, but did not notice anything particularly eye-catching. If there was an anomaly, it wasn't apparent at first sight.
That she, of all people, would claim something of the sort is unusual. It is so exceptionally unusual that we decided to record it here just in case anyone reading this may have experienced the same thing.
If you have, let us know.
Our friend said it well herself: whatever it was, it couldn't have been physical (or everybody alive would have noticed it... and not only by the position of the Moon!). Something must have affected the perception and/or perceptual memory.
N.B. There have been heavy clouds for the past few nights where this blog is currently being written, so no such observations could be made here. The only thing that could be interpreted as unusual is the fact that time - you know, the stuff that does not exist but we measure it in minutes and hours? - seems to have been surprisingly long-lasting for the past day or two. What felt like an hour turned out to have lasted no more than 15 - 20 minutes or so.
ADDENDUM (August 20, 2011):
We still don't know - and haven't really researched it it, not in depth - what could be the cause of the perceived anomaly of the Moon on the date described in the post. But it appears that something is amiss with the "secular eccentricity of Moon's orbit" (check the search results). A reader who, for some reason, wishes to remain anonymous, pointed us to a PDF article by an Italian researcher. (Beware: it is highly technical, as it to be expected.).
I must admit I am not into deciphering the technical lingo in fields that I am not particularly interested in. But somewhere a reader of this blog could be interested in it and able to understand what exactly it all means.
We were also pointed to a YouTube video bearing the illustrious name of Cornell University.
I wish said university's findings were explained in the video, but they are not. It's just images of the Moon, embellished with a few personal remarks by the video uploader, I assume.
The video, however, seems to allude to the findings of the same researcher who is the author of the article above, Lorenzo Iorio (not "Lorio"). But judging by the details provided in the article, he works for the Italian ministry of Education and Research - not for Cornell University.
Anyway, here you go.
If you want to report a perceived dimensional anomaly, please do, but read this first.