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Moon fan? Or no Moon fan?


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I'm going to be perfectly honest for a minute.....I'm not a fan of the moon ;-)

Perhaps when I was younger and first starting out in astronomy as it was an easy target for obvious reasons. But, now that I've been in the hobby for more years than I care to admit, I find it a light pollution nuisance that has a bad habit of being high in the sky (and usually close to full phase) whenever the conditions would be otherwise just perfect for DSO.

My primary interest has firmly fallen over the years into DSO's. That's the thing that gives me the biggest buzz in this hobby. I find myself picking and choosing my nights - almost ruling out the two week period when the moon is bright in the sky. It can be combated to some extent by choosing to observe objects ahead of their typically visibility window in the year. M51 for example before dawn at this time of year - provided the moon is still in it's waxing phase. 

Of course, the two weeks when the moon is not present during the majority of night time hours usually results in cloudy conditions - with the odd special night when there is no moon and a crystal clear sky - ideal for the galaxies.

You know the score most times though... A lovely crystal clear blue sky in the afternoon and early evening. Scope gets set up in the garden. Then cue the random intruding cloud cover before becoming mostly overcast. Scope goes in again ;-)

This made me think about the moon's orbit inclination around the earth. I think that in an ideal world it would be exactly the opposite to what it actually is. In other words, the moon would be high in the sky during summer - but very low in the sky during the winter. Think how much more truly dark sky observing we would get? The sky is bright anyway during summer so I could easily fore-go two weeks a month in exchange for more dark sky opportunities in the Autumn, Winter, Spring months.

So, are you a fan or not? And, what's your thoughts on shifting it's orbit inclination?

Let the debate begin.

Clear Skies,

Greg

Edited by greglloyd
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I have to admit that I love the moon but that hasn't always been the case. When I started out in astronomy some 35years ago I was an avid fuzzy fan and I avoided the moon as much as possible. I spent

Massive fan. Being able to see naked eye detail on another world.. the gorgeous red colour at moon rise & moon set.. plane contrails beside a Full Moon.. But then again I'm not at all a 'deep sky

Please, don't anyone get into a fainting fit over my post, I was Waxing lyrical, not  Waning  critical   . Ron.

Massive fan. Being able to see naked eye detail on another world.. the gorgeous red colour at moon rise & moon set.. plane contrails beside a Full Moon.. But then again I'm not at all a 'deep sky observer' so it's never really bothered me that much!

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I used to curse the moon but a few months ago started the Luna 100 and now I'm hooked.

As with any observing the interest is not just in what you see but learning about the object, I am tending towards Jules position above.

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Moon fan. I have to agree with a previous comment regarding seeing faint fuzzy patches in the eyepiece after searching around for a while and generally feeling let down by what you see.

There is so much to see on the moon that i reckon you could just view it exclusively and still never get bored. Also light pollution doesn't seem to be as much of an issue when doing lunar work. 

Just my 2p worth.

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I can see the frustration if deep sky hunting is your main interest.  Have you done the Lunar 100  ?  Maybe the challenge would make the moon look more like an opportunistic challenge rather than a hindrance to your main goals.  In fact I think there is a Lunar 200 now published on a thread on this forum to get your teeth into.

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Have to admit I am not a fan. Occasionally (by that I mean once every few years) I will spend an evening observing the moon and then move on. Mostly it just blots out the stuff I really want to see. I've always preferred more dynamic targets and hence gravitated (excuse the pun) towards planetary observing. It's not an exclusive relationship and anyone who has read my admittedly sparse observing reports, will know that I can turn my attention to comets, asteroids, DSOs, supernovae and others besides, but I always end up coming back to the planets for a fix.

Having said that there is nothing like seeing a good moon rise with the naked eye.

Edit: Seems I have lost the ability to use punctuation this evening :embarrassed:

Edited by David Smith
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Not a moon fan. Sure, it is a nice easy target, but it does interfere a lot. 

I have switched over to narrowband on the nights that it is out. Means I can still get some good data and nice images despite the big flashlight in the sky!

One thing it does do is make everything easier to see! 

Perhaps if I can setup the mosaic mode on the mount, I could get some nice images, but I will save that till I have a better idea of what I am doing!

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Moon fan. I have to agree with a previous comment regarding seeing faint fuzzy patches in the eyepiece after searching around for a while and generally feeling let down by what you see.

There is so much to see on the moon that i reckon you could just view it exclusively and still never get bored. Also light pollution doesn't seem to be as much of an issue when doing lunar work. 

Just my 2p worth.

Have to say that with the way technology's going it's now possible to see a lot of those faint fuzzies in colour in real time from what I've seen in the video astronomy section. It's something I'm looking at getting into myself.

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As a committed follower of the Dark Arts I find the moon a royal pain in the nether regions, usually full slap bang in the middle of where I want to image.

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I am a huge fan, i would be happy if we only had the Moon, much better than playing silly things with fuzzy little things that look a bit like clouds

I hear you, but with larger scopes they look a lot more than just clouds ;-)

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Moon fan. I have to agree with a previous comment regarding seeing faint fuzzy patches in the eyepiece after searching around for a while and generally feeling let down by what you see.

There is so much to see on the moon that i reckon you could just view it exclusively and still never get bored. Also light pollution doesn't seem to be as much of an issue when doing lunar work. 

Just my 2p worth.

It's the main source of light pollution where I live! ;-)

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I can see the frustration if deep sky hunting is your main interest.  Have you done the Lunar 100  ?  Maybe the challenge would make the moon look more like an opportunistic challenge rather than a hindrance to your main goals.  In fact I think there is a Lunar 200 now published on a thread on this forum to get your teeth into.

Actually, I've never heard of this. I must look into it

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Right now, not a fan - want to try a new dob out on DSOs... BUT getting a binoviewer reinvigorated my interest in the moon, and one of these days I will begin methodically working throughthe Lunar 100 list! But totally agree about full moon and best weather nights clashing ;)

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I quite like the solar system and Universe the way it is. I'm lucky to be able to examine it in more detail than most of the population so I'm not going to start picking on any aspect of it :smiley:

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Is the new dob the Obsession Niall? If so, congrats! I'll be interested in hearing a report on that one!

Thanks - yes! First view was on a misty night: it's cooling outside now... as I try to get kids asleep. It's a race to cool against forecasted cloud and a rising moon ;)

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Thanks - yes! First view was on a misty night: it's cooling outside now... as I try to get kids asleep. It's a race to cool against forecasted cloud and a rising moon ;)

Lovely scope Niall! Hope it gives you amazing views :-)

Did you buy it new from Obsession?

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