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56 hour moon in a small scope

The Warthog

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There is two feet of snow around my house at present, so I wasn't going to haul my tripod and scope outside, but I took my little 65mm Mak, and my flimsy photographic tripod, and set up on the front porch to watch the Moon for a few minutes. It was about -8 outside, but on the sheltered porch it was tolerable, even though I didn't bother to put a coat on.

The Mak has a variable ep, with powers from 30 to 90x, and when I finally got the moon in the FOV, I put it at about 60x, then took forever to focus it. On the photo tripod it jiggles if you think about touching it, so focusing is a real PITA.

Got it in focus, and picked out a nice row of craters lying along the terminator. Four craters, all appearing about the same size range. The northernmost of these four is Langrenus, which at this magnification reveals that it has a central peak if you stare long enough. The next, Vendelinus, is indistinct and weathered, and in this scope hardly noticeable. Petavius is the best of the four, proudly showing off its central peak and distinct walls, and Furnerius is the last of the chain, a flat walled plain. The four range in size from 130 to 180km, Furnerius being the smallest, and Petavius the largest. I would guess that it is also the youngest, relatively speaking.

I could see about half of Crisium, but don't have the magnification I need to spot the things I wanna see in it. Anyway, I lost my focus, and called it a short night, glad to have seen something. The earthshine on the moon is always a joy to see at this phase, eh?


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Beautiful description, WH.. thanks! :wink:

I went out on the deck for a few minutes last night too, but didn't take the scope. There's something magical about the Earthshine, and I actually prefer a naked-eye view to a magnified one.

(Tried using the new XTi but haven't had a chance to look over the results yet. If they're decent I'll post in the appropriate forum.)

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Nice report WH... -8, man thats cold!. Russ and I have done a few (and only a few) of those before in the middle of the New Forest at 2am in the morning.

I also enjoy looking at the earth shine.. even without the scope. Glad you made it out!.


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