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I have seen a lot of information about moon phase calculation, but need an accurate moon shape calculator/algorithm given the observer's position and time. This implies that the illuminated portion may be rotated, and not only have a right-left orientation as traditionally depicted.

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  • $\begingroup$ Brightness/color calculation would be a great plus. $\endgroup$ – Jaime Mar 6 '16 at 19:21
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There is an accurate depiction of the moon phase and shape in Stellarium (see below) that you might find useful. You can select your observing location and time anywhere on Earth (or another planet if you so wish). Then you can just search for the moon in the search window (if you cant spot it in the sky), and you have a real representation of how the moon looks at that specific time and location. However if you need to repeat this calculation many times then this isn't the best solution.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ +1. If you need to know how it is done, you have to start reading the source. But its a big project, and there is a lot of code that is dealing with management of the interface, and so on. You could also look at xephem, which also calculates the moon's appearance but has a older interface which makes reading the code simpler. $\endgroup$ – James K Mar 6 '16 at 22:27
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    $\begingroup$ Hi Dean, thanks for your answer. It reflects exactly what I am looking for, but swimming on all that source code is overkill. I expect there should be a cleaner source of information, either code or equations. $\endgroup$ – Jaime Mar 7 '16 at 5:32
  • $\begingroup$ The CSPICE libraries will probably do what you want: naif.jpl.nasa.gov/naif/tutorials.html but are also probably overkill. $\endgroup$ – user21 Mar 8 '16 at 15:31

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