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Moon fan? Or no Moon fan?


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I never tire of looking at the moon even after 50 years of skywatching. It's the one thing you can garantee will put on a good show,even when the seeing is a bit fuzzy. I can still find stuff I've never spotted before on the moon even after all these years. Love it.

Cheers. John.

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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.

I am a fan of the moon, never ceases to amaze me when I look up at it,

however as my interest seems to be taking me more towards DSO I suppose that it could change in time...we will see :smiley:

regards

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The Moon is great. My problem with it is that is that it is the same every month. A boring monthly repeat that gets in the way of all the interesting stuff on- seemingly on the very few clear nights that we have.

If the moon came round once a year instead of once a month I could forgive it.

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I'm with solo above & the other pro-Moon posters. How one could get bored with seeing and observing the surface, mountains and features of another world escapes me. I feel so lucky to have that opportunity. And thankfully, I have no intention of specialising to the extent that I disregard any privilege or opportunity to journey amongst the heavens, Solar System or otherwise...I'm only here once: I value everything, from a faint fuzzy to the lunar alps. I'll be a long time dead so I'll marvel at it all while I can :)

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I should add that it's not that I see the moon itself boring. I just do not like two weeks of a month where the sky quality is seriously degraded. I obviously enjoy the detail on the moon. But it need not be more than one or two nights a month preferably ;-)

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Nobody has commented on the idea of the moon being high in the summer rather than winter yet. Thoughts?

Hrm, if I understand correctly (and I very possibly don't)...

The Earth's axis is tilted, so the ecliptic rises and falls ('nutates') once per sidereal day.

Whenever the ecliptic is highest, it is lowest 12-ish hours later.

Summer is summer because the sun (on the ecliptic) is highest at midday.

In summer therefore the ecliptic (and so also the moon) is lowest at midnight.

And vice versa in winter.

If it's any consolation, the *new* moon is lowest in winter!

As for the inclination of the Moon's orbit, I suspect this is very much a secondary thing, and would vary with a different rhythm from the seasons, but my brain hurts now.

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No, that's exactly the point. With the currently moon orbit the moon is lowest in the sky at new moon in winter. That means it's highest at full moon in summer. If the moon's orbit was the opposite to this (i. e. The tilt of its orbit compared with earth) then the moon in winter would be lowest at full moon, and highest at new moon.

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Hrm, if I understand correctly (and I very possibly don't)...

The Earth's axis is tilted, so the ecliptic rises and falls ('nutates') once per sidereal day.

Whenever the ecliptic is highest, it is lowest 12-ish hours later.

Summer is summer because the sun (on the ecliptic) is highest at midday.

In summer therefore the ecliptic (and so also the moon) is lowest at midnight.

And vice versa in winter.

If it's any consolation, the *new* moon is lowest in winter!

As for the inclination of the Moon's orbit, I suspect this is very much a secondary thing, and would vary with a different rhythm from the seasons, but my brain hurts now.

I get what you are saying! Due to the alignment of ecliptic (inc. moon and sun) during summer - both are at their lowest at midnight which helps make it as dark as it could be on that date.

However, in June and early July it is not even nautical dark here until around 1am - so little consolation!!

Edited by greglloyd
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At far northern and southern latitudes, presumably there must be long periods of darkness during which the Moon never rises more than 20-30 degrees or so? Am I right?

Not so I think... The moon would be very low in summer or not rise at all, but because at high latitide you are at the top of the ball so to speak (and therefore at the narrow part of the ball), the sun would never really set enough for a dark sky. In fact, at mid summer the sky would likely stay blue all night (here in NI it stays blue until 1am or more at the summer solstice).

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If you look at annual sky darkness charts then the rule is that you have more consistently dark skies throughout the year at latitudes closer to the equator. Their nights never get as long as ours further north but they also never get as short as ours in summer.

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I should add that it's not that I see the moon itself boring. I just do not like two weeks of a month where the sky quality is seriously degraded. I obviously enjoy the detail on the moon. But it need not be more than one or two nights a month preferably ;-)

For me the moon is not about enough! you get a lovely half phase and it ends up as a daytime object on a truly clear day, or its rising late i the night and i have to get some sleep...............more Moon please

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A total fan of the Moon. There is wealth of interest and detail to find and it is possible to become so absorbed in surface details

that I can lose track of time and spend hours observing it. If the weather conditions permitted more clear skies ,then for me at least,

there would be ample dark sky time to observe other things.

The beauty of Astronomy is that with patience there is adequate time to look at everything. :smiley:

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Great fan, I wish we had more Moons! But I'm really a clear skies fan, I don't care if the Moon is shinning like a flood light I can spend hours either observing it or look the other way.

What I don't enjoy are the freezing claggy winter nights when dew settles after 5 minutes, my breath fogs EPs, my nose seems to develop a burst water main quality, and my fingers turn stiff and white. :(

If I could have Summer temperatures and dark Winter nights now that would be something.

No LP here, so at least with a large Moon I don't bang into things so much. I sometimes go for walks over the fields and through the woods in the middle of the night, the Moon is like a comforting friend with a hand on my shoulder and the wildlife seems to enjoy it as well.

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This thread again reveals the difference between observers and imagers. Visual observers can enjoy both Moon and no Moon, imaging requires patience to wait for the specific opportunity so the Moon's appearance can be testing. Unless of course you are a lunar imager.  :smiley:

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This thread again reveals the difference between observers and imagers. Visual observers can enjoy both Moon and no Moon, imaging requires patience to wait for the specific opportunity so the Moon's appearance can be testing. Unless of course you are a lunar imager. :smiley:

A very good point Peter.... I hadn't thought of it in visual v imager terms. Very different objectives.

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The moon always has something interesting to look at. Different angles of illumination present an ever changing face. Planets too are constantly changing, especially Jupiter.

Fuzzy blobs... A faint fuzzy galaxy looked the same as it does now 10,000 years ago, and will still look the same in another 10,000 years ;) You've seen one, you've seen 'em all - now and forever...

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 Fuzzy blobs... A faint fuzzy galaxy looked the same as it does now 10,000 years ago, and will still look the same in another 10,000 years ;) You've seen one, you've seen 'em all - now and forever...

And so the Great Fuzzies War began.....duck and COVERRR!!!

:D

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The moon Isn't going anywhere, except to continue it's orbital path around the earth,  for a very very, long time to come.

Our satellite has prompted much emotion throughout time, Romance, Fear, a Tool for the Harbingers of Doom, 

In its methodical monthly path around us, its help in regulating our tides, casting light on us in various intensities according

to its relationship with the sun and earth. 

Would we miss it if it disappeared?, of course we would. The moon is a magnificent sight in the night sky, and not too shabby a sight in daylight either.

It probably does irritate deep sky imagers, but I'm sure it is irritation, and not hatred..

"Magnificent desolation" I think is what Neil Armstrong  labelled it as he surveyed it from the surface. Probably as good a description possible.

The moons shadow relieved surface is certainly a magnificent sight as it is surveyed in a good telescope.

Think kindly on our moon, it is the only one we have, and I wouldn't wish it gone.

Ron.

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I used to really get frustrated when the moon was up & hindering my hunt for those sometimes elusive galaxies from my modestly light polluted back garden. As my telescope collection has grown & my desire to observe when ever it is clear my thinking changed. So I look forward to clear Moonless nights for hunting galaxies & other faint fuzzies with one of my bigger scopes. The 18" is used from proper dark locations I use & the 12" from home. When the Moon is up I then focus my attention on Lunar, planetary & double star observation with my Mak or refractor. Very happy now when I see it is going to be clear. But still prefer the Moonless nights to hunt & see the 1000's of deep sky objects.

Mind you it does always appear clearest when the Moon is up but I suspect this is because I am focused on clear Moonless nights for my preferred aspect of the hobby. 

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watching a stonking great full moon glowing orange as it peaks above the horison is a sight I never tire of.. Ten minutes later I wish it'd go away so I can get on with some imaging :). That said, it's a handy target for those nights with patchy cloud and a pair of bins, A nice thin crescent is also a naked eye treat. make some room on that fence for me Calvin :D

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