As the orientation of the moon is different in the northern and the southern hemisphere, is the orientation of the sun different in both hemisphere?

Does a sunspot appearing in the Sun northern hemisphere from the Earth northern hemisphere will look as located in the Sun southern hemisphere from the Earth southern hemisphere ?

If I understand well, an equatorial mount can compensate for the Earth tilt, but how is possible to compensate from one hemisphere to the other one? Is the image flipped?

thank you!


2 Answers 2


Yes, the orientation of the Sun will be different from the Earth's northern and southern hemisphere, just like your example of the Moon.

I would not say that a sunspot in the "northern" hemisphere would appear to be in the "southern" hemisphere just because of the change in orientation. North is fixed on the Sun and Moon, just like they are on the Earth. (If you turn a globe of the Earth "upside down", the northern and southern hemispheres do not switch, just the orientation."

The view through a telescope may change the orientation, but the directions North, South, East, and West on the Sun and Moon remain the same. The user of the telescope needs to determine which directions those are (up, down, left, right). It changes with the design of the telescope (reflector versus refractor) and the number of optical elements.

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    $\begingroup$ All the other planets and asteroids are also "upside down" in the other N/S hemisphere. $\endgroup$ Nov 14, 2019 at 16:08

Yes. The observer is "flipped". In northern hemisphere the sun in in the southern half of the sky. So the bottom of the sun is toward the south horizon. The top of the sun is toward the north. By convention this side is the north of the sun (or moon). When facing the sun (at noon) north is up toward the top of your head.

In the southern hemisphere the observer is "flipped" "ups-de-down". The sun now appears in the northern half of sky. So the bottom of Sun is toward the north horizon i.e. so the top of the sun is toward the south. It looks upside-down because the top of your head is now orientated with the south.

A diagram helps better than words: Simple diagram. In the southern hemisphere Orion is doing hand stands.


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