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Beulah

Lunar Love

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It feels very strange posting here as I have never been a fan of lunar observation...until now...

The catalyst may have been the bad weather we had back in February; a succession of beautiful clear nights with a waxing moon always used to compel me to keep the scope indoors and wait for the moonless nights, as my preference is DSO hunting. 

Well the recent spell of high pressure has changed all that, knowing that it may not last.

Last night's observation proved to be very fruitful - the sky transparency was rubbish but the seeing was excellent. Using the ES 6.7 barlowed x2 in the 12" Dob  (x500), I was rewarded with some fabulous views of craters.

Rupes Recta was amazing - the central 100km long rille was easily spotted and the Birt crater stood out well.

Slewing towards Montes Appeninus, I then marvelled at the long jagged crater edge shadows in the base of a crater that could have been Archimedes. Didn't have a lunar atlas on me at the time, so apologies if my lunar geography is rubbish!

Making the most of the magnification, I then studied Mons Pico - what an amazingly long shadow this pillar-like structure threw (around 7300ft high?)!

It's no moon marathon but I seriously spent a long, long time studying these wonderful features.

Want to thank you guys who have encouraged me to get into Lunar observation sometime back - what took me so long?

Totally in love with the moon, now! :)

Edited by Beulah
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The Moon was the first thing I saw when I got into this hobby and I remember thinking, "WOW! Why did I never look at the Moon through a telescope before?"

Then I got into DSO imaging and lost the fascination with the Moon before I'd really got going with it. I hadn't fully appreciated what a ton of detail there is to see (and there aren't that many things up there that we can see in a ton of detail...), how many interesting features there are and how dramatically the lighting changes over those features.

I had to cut back on DSO imaging last year and it's been a blessing in disguise because it's made me take more notice of the amazing star and moon right on our doorstep :)

Edited by Luke
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Had a similar experience last night. Not been out for ages due to the terrible weather.

Saw the Rupes Rectar (AKA Straight Wall) for the first time. I believe there are only certain times the moons terminator helps you see the object so was quite chuffed.

Managed to image it as well though not the greatest shot.

Also enjoyed the Montes Apenninus, what a mountain range!

Lots of other interesting sights as well. I have found referring to my copy of Peter Grego 'Moons Observers' guide to be very helpful and enjoyable.

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Breathtaking images, Droogie! They are both great but that image of Montes Apenninus is amazing!

Thank you both for your comments. Luke, you have got it in a nutshell.

The moon's terminator helped a lot.

Lunar observing is the only answer for DSO nuts like me who really don't have an excuse any more for staying in when it's clear.   :)

I have downloaded Virtual Moon Atlas as a reference. Far harder identifying craters than finding Deep Sky Objects the old fashioned way! :)

Edited by Beulah

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Beulah,

I have always been transfixed by our Moon and am totally astonished by the number of people that are not :shocked: it can certainly take huge amounts of magnification given the chance. :smiley:  Since having my new Solar scope I now have the capability to see what a star looks like close up.

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I too have a fascination with the Moon, great to observe even when

the weather isn't great, you can get out and enjoy yourself, DSO's are

great to observe but the conditions have to be really good, but our

Moon is still observable in daylight, going out now, the Moon looks great

tonight, as always.

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Shaun, Well I used to be one of those people you could have been astonished with but no longer..  :D  I have to be honest it was relaxing to cruise around the Moon, taking my time with the sights and enjoying the high magnification.

Ron - it certainly does make a pleasant contrast to finding difficult DSO targets and fighting against local light pollution to squeeze out every last ounce of aperture in the telescope. Of course, the rewards of spotting spiral arms in a galaxy when the sky is playing ball are very great and is unforgettable. Sometimes you have to do stuff that lowers the blood pressure!!  :D

Edited by Beulah
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Another positive for the Moon is that it is quite viewable on an array of telescopes, I find it just as appealing with both my Pronto 70mm and my CPC 235mm :laugh: as well as the 2 other scopes I have owned to date.

Edited by Pig
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I used to consider it a nuisance, however after having a period of inactivity due my back problems flaring up I decided to set my telescope up on the driveway ( I normally set up on the roof) I had a great session just observing the Moon, I have been hooked ever since.

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Here are some sites with good resources to help you:

Moon Book by Alan Chu:   http://www.alanchuhk.com/

Lunar Field Atlas:  http://www.astronomy...pages/moon.html

You must also try Virtual Moon Atlas by Patrick Chevalley  and Christian Legrand, it is fantastic, very useful for checking Libration.   http://ap-i.net/avl/en/download

Or for a big...or should I say BIG! map, try:  http://the-moon.wiki...arside Moon Map

Then there is this, simply awesome, let the page load and click on the Moon Globe:      http://wms.lroc.asu....ew/wac_nearside

A good site for maps in any orientation you may need, colour or B&W:  http://pruss.mobi/moon.html

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Neat, just think, I used to pack up with any Moon about. Had a blast at x533 last night, certainly superb seeing,

Nick.

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We have to just cave in and study the moon eh, Nick?   :D DSOs are so fickle to study! I've suffered for years waiting for those dark moonless skies but now it's the best of both worlds...

Moon Nut, I am aware of the Lunar 100 and have always deliberately ignored it, but for no longer. Thank you very much for that link and the links to other resources, very helpful.   :)

Edited by Beulah

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From my records , it appears that new Moon time attracts the clouds and rain and that the very finest nights are indeed Moonlit.

Tonight the only game in town was Jupiter vs the Moon. It's so tempting to get sat down with a lunar map, but there's so much to see under

Clear skies !

Nick.

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Hi,

I've always observed the moon since I started to do observations of the night (and day) sky - while always being interested in Deep Sky objects too. However, during the last 7 days, I've observed the lunar craters, rupes, rilles and montes at FIVE evenings.

I do not recall that I ever had enough dark and clear evenings in a row to do so much deep sky observing.

Achim

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