The Moon The Moon


Observations of The Moon





  28/09/15
Total Lunar Eclipse
Started by jumping out of bed at 2am BST, by 2:15 watching from sitting room window. Clear sky, fantastic huge Moon (both a Harvest Moon and a Super Moon) just starting to move into the Earths umbra
Great contrast between the lit area and the eclipsed
As the moon moves further into the umbra the orange/red colour begins to be hinted at through binoculars
Then, Wow, 3:10 Total Eclipse, all white has gone and the moon is now an amazing orange, graded light to very dark
Through binoculars the stars behind really bring out the 3D effect, fantastic
Now time for the telescope
Tried 12mm and 18mm eyepieces but settled for 25mm which gives crisp, focused FOV with those amazing stars behind and also gives the stars room in the FOV
Two sketches made at the eyepiece just before the Moon emerges from the umbra, one at 04:10 and the other at 04:25 together with their equivalent  Stellarium screenshots
Then, just before 04:30 an amazing sight, the very edge of the Moon suddenly brightens with a crisp light as the umbra moves away
A truly amazing experience, one I'm very glad I did not miss, and I'm also pleased that I decided to set up my telescope rather than just viewing in binoculars

16/01/16
About 1st Quarter, and due south in the early evening sky which is not yet quite dark at 5:50pm
Surrounded by a halo with the colour changing from pale yellow close in to a much more orange outer
Using an aperture mask made of cardboard with an offset circular hole of about 80mm diameter
Mare Serenitatis, really dark and flat and at first glance unmarked apart from the tiny crater Bessel, 16km across of which half has a really dark shadow
Crossing Bessel north to south is a really striking white line of ejecta
About in the centre is a really faint crater with hardly any shadow, about four times wider than Bessel
The ejecta line points to a perfectly round crater on the mountain rim, Menelaus
On the other side of  Mare Serenitatis from Menelaus is Posidonius, much larger and surrounded by smaller craters, of which Daniell is the largest
One of these is in the crater wall of Posidonius itself which also appears to have a tiny bright crater in its centre
Mare Tranquillitatis, on the west edge sit two craters of about equal size, Ritter and Sabine which appear to be just touching
Then just touching Ritter heading north is a dark crater about a quarter of its diameter, with a similar sized one just touching it!
From Sabine eastwards is Maskelyne, smaller than Sabine but obviously deeper, its eastern side is in very dark shadow
And of course, just under halfway from Sabine to Maskelyne and slightly south is Tranquility Base!