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I confess I've never managed to see this before, despite having larger scopes which are capable of getting it, I've just never really given it a proper shot. Conditions at our club night on Thursday were very nice for lunar observing so I thought I would have another peek tonight. I put the Heritage 130p out for a little session before dinner and was surprised with how good the views were although they came and went with the seeing. I find I have to be careful where I put my hand when moving the scope otherwise the heat from it knocks the views back for a few seconds each time. I had the idea of trying to spot Hadley Rille, even though I wasn't sure it was the best Phase possible it must be close. The Heritage put up a valiant effort, using my little Nag Zoom, it would take up to around x150 before softening, with better seeing it will go higher as I could see every now and then. I tried for a while but couldn't see anything, just the crater Hadley C and the hooked feature marked in red in my second pic attached. Mrs Stu called me in for dinner (a surprisingly healthy Chinese takeaway ) and then after an excellent programme about Judi Dench, I popped out again for round two, the Tak Attack. Scope was plonked on the Giro-WR mount which is permanently setup on an EQ6 tripod with pillar extension, under cover of course. Having had good success binoviewing the other night, I opted for the same again. I thought I had been using around x150 but when cleaning my kit I discovered a x2.6 GPC in where I thought there was a x1.7. That means it was x231 ish, with potential for x308 with a second extention. Starting at the lower power, the views were still stunning! Patchy cloud was rolling through, each time the seeing went to pieces even with quite small patches so I had to wait for the clear air when the views were excellent. First of all I picked up the red section in the third image quite strongly as a fine line. I couldn't get anything else so went to x308 and managed to tease out the orange section. Not easy but definitely there, quite handy to have failed with the Heritage as I knew I was seeing something extra. I was really chuffed with this as I've wanted to see it for a long time. Not quite the entire length but about three quarters I guess, pretty good. To make a comparison, I reconfigured the scope for cyclops viewing and dropped the Nag Zoom in which gives between x123 and x246. First thing I noticed was the floaters, particularly bad at the highest power. I managed to pick up the red section again, but the clarity just wasn't there, because of my floaters, to pick up the harder section. This finally does validate sticking with the binoviewers for Lunar from now on. Before wrapping up, I had a pan around to take in the views. Copernicus was absolutely stunning, so much fine detail in the inner and outer walls. Rupea Recta caught my eye, with fainter Rima Birt and crater running next to it. Plenty more which I just took in but didn't identify specifically, and great little session and a feature seen that I've been wanting to view for a long time.
Always wanted to get a photo of this, a famous sinuous volcanic feature on the moon, initially thought to have been signs of ancient water flow, and site of the Apollo 15 landing - men have walked to the very edge of it ! (please do click through to Flickr and click again to see it at full HD) The wide-view is a 3-pane mosaic through a 2.5 barlow that you've probably seen in my other post, the middle inset was taken in the same session through an awkward arrangement of a 2x barlow in the back of a 2.5x barlow, and then the detail inset is a 4x blow-up - squeezing the pips out of my resolution ! Equipment as per sig, using the QHY, processed in Pixinsight. Hadley's Rille, a sinuous rille located west of the Apollo 15 landing site, begins in an area of low domes at an elongated crater, Běla, and runs on to the North along the Apennine Mountain Range. Some research has suggested that both the rille and Běla are volcanic vents, and lava flows created the features. Another hypothesis suggests that the rille was originally an underground lava tube, the roof of which collapsed, creating the current appearance of the rille. Hadley's Rille typically ranges in depth between 600 and 900 feet (180 and 270 m), but is approximately 1,200 feet (370 m) deep at the Apollo 15 landing site. The feature has a cumulative length of about 80 miles (130 km). The sides of the rille, at the Apollo 15 site, slope downwards at an angle of about 25 degrees. Before samples were returned from the Moon during the Apollo program, several scientists believed that the feature and other similar features were formed by flowing water. This hypothesis has since been changed, however, to attribute the process of the feature's creation to volcanism. Hope you enjoy !