A Conversation for Babe Among the Stars - March Notes

The Moon

Post 1


For anyone interested in taking a look at the moon with a telescope, the first quarter is probably the most revealing. It’s also the most convenient, taking place as it does, mostly before midnight.

From about two days old the terminator (that’s the shadow line) shows more detail than later when the sunlight is at a higher angle. Although full moon is impressive there is not very much detail to be seen.

There are some truly impressive craters highlighted during the first days after the new moon. And you may also be able to see the ‘ashen light’ where the shadowed side of the moon is illuminated by reflected light from the Earth.

The relief shows the crater walls and the lava flooded plains inside. You can easily see the central peaks of the larger craters and sometimes wrinkle ridges formed in the plains by the flow and contraction of the solidifying lava. Other special features can be picked out like 'Rupes Recta', a fault line near the southern Mare Nubium.

It’s well worth a look with a small guide book to identify some of the more prominent craters. After all, where else can you go to see the surface of another planet first hand?


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