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Moon fan? Or no Moon fan?

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How many of us would be looking up at all if it wasn't for the Moon?

As a DSO imager it is the most frustrating thing to see in the sky. But it's the first thing I point a scope to when I'm introducing someone to the nights wonders!

Without it would we have had Sir Pat or Neil?

I love it and loathe it... But only because it doesn't fit in with MY plans as a DSO imager. So next time I'm cursing it as a pollutant I think I'll point a camera at it & try to learn some new imaging skills instead [emoji3]

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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.

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.


Nobody was saying they wanted it gone lol  :smiley:

The topic was simply about it's light having impact on DSO views for half of the month - and it's uncanny ability to be at full phase when the best observing conditions just happen to be. I was more interested in people's thoughts on "imagine if it was high in the sky in summer instead of winter" - and how that might change the amount of opportunities for truly dark skies with superb clarity in winter.

I think people thought I had a hatred for the moon itself, whereas I'm simply referring to the coincidence of an almost full moon and good viewing conditions  :laugh:

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As a Galaxy and nebula nut it might surprise a few of you to learn I don't mind the moon. I will sit and observe it for an evening or two every now and then and can see the draw it has for others. 

I seldom observe on moonlit nights now but will make an occasional exception to just go and admire our neighbour in space. The level of detail one can observe is incredible isn't it.

I love pushing the Dob about at high power, it feels like your in the lunar module hovering over the surface. Cool  :cool:

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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 :)

Well said Ghostdance.Like you,I wonder at everything we can see in the sky,and don't feel the need to specialise at this point in my re-generated astro-career (although double stars are starting to particularly interest me at the moment).I want it all!

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Just as a side note, someone mentioned above that the moon is usually the first thing you look at when you start out. Back when I was 12 years old, my dad gave me an old 40mm refractor to play around with. First thing I did that evening was point it at something in the sky. So, with zero knowledge of the sky I just looked for something and saw a bright star to the west (no moon at the time). I aimed the scope at the bright star and low and behold there was a mini half moon! I had accidentally stumbled on Venus. I think it was a few days later that I got my first astro book that explained it. As a young child I hadn't expected another planet to show phases.

So my first object wasn't actually the real moon but rather a somewhat mini 'version' of it  :smiley:  

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I like the Moon. It radically alters the night sky every month.Stops it getting boring. Combine it with various atmospherics and it's infinitely enjoyable.It's the only object that can do this unless of course a whacking great supernova lets go somewhere in our galactic neighbourhood.

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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 - Will certainly write a little report when I've had a proper session with it! Have a few comments and questions in mind to ask of people.

1st and 2nd light have been only stolen snatches of time - 2 of my kids sick so only got out for a few mins last night ... And the moon won the race and had risen :) Had a quick look at Jupiter - bit of haze in the air - views nice but not particularly remarkable. Swung over to the moon - great terminator! Went to get the binoviewer - gutted: doesn't reach focus. Had hoped against the odds that it would be ok. Already maxed out on the GPC :( I don't know if I can use my powermate in any way to help + think I need more than the range remaining in the primary collimation bolts.

I've been googling aluminium tubing sellers to make a 2nd set of trusses with an inch or so shorter length. Pity: the focusser is low profile, but not able to get away like I could on the 250px to change between bino and cyclops. I used to remove the 1.25" adapter to get the inward positioning. I must describe the little 'trick' with the GPC I use in case useful to someone with a Synta Newt...

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I was a fan, and then not, and then a fan again.....

When I was a beginner I observed planets, stars, a couple of easily observed nebulae, meteors, Nortern lights, etc and of course the Moon.

After some years I turned to DSO's and then I considered the Moon to be light polution.

Now I understand that it's a question of planning, at least for me. I find it really exciting to have a small planet so close. Now I think I have a bit of everything.

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The Moon gives me more sessions observing, if I concentrated on fuzzies I wouldn't get out half

as much, I find it such a fascinating object to observe, even when high cloud is forecast I set up

my gear, it acts as a filter, I always wonder how frustrating it must be for imagers, they can't get

out that much, not with our weather. I consider the Moon a friend, and a reliable friend too!

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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 much of my astro apprenticeship learning my way around the night sky using binoculars that were mounted on wooden fork and tripod. With these I found all the Messier objects visible from my location and followed every comet within the range of my humble 60mm aperture, and plotting their paths in my Norton's Star atlas. Sweeping through the star fields of the milky way gave me a real thrill. Though I had a small refractor, its eyepieces left a lot to be desired, so the moon wasn't my first choice as an observing target.

In time my small refractor was replaced by a 102mm F13 Vixen refractor. DSOs really took on a whole new persona in that incredible telescope. Some today may laugh, thinking that a 102mm F13 couldn't possibly be considered a deep sky telescope, but for the brighter DSOs it was stunningly good. Its high level of contrast and piercingly sharp stars gave me my first taste of just what a good refractor is capable of.

On one occasion I took the scope round to a friends house. He was much older than me and was a highly regarded lunar & planetary observer. The 102 was aimed at Saturn as was my friends 215mm reflector. He took a long hard look through both scopes then in a fit of temper, kicked open his garden gate and disappeared down the path and into his house, all the time swearing with venom. I wondered what on earth I'd done to deserve such a response. On looking through the scopes I immediately knew what it was that angered him so much. The 102 was in another league compared to his reflector.

I've owned some excellent refractors over the years and have never been disappointed by their ability to perform beyond all expectation. Because of this I've never had a yearning for large aperture scopes, though I've observed through many of them.

Also because of this I've grown to love the moon with its laser etched landscapes and terrifyingly complex detail. It thrills me greatly when the moon is high. Though its a dead world, its constantly changing features and the challenge of studying its intricate complexities, gives me a real buzz.

When I began in astronomy and for many years after, I would have said I was 100% happy observing comets & DSOs and only 99% happy observing anything else. Today I am 100% happy observing the Sun, Moon and Planets, and only 99% happy observing anything else.

I suppose with our unpredictable British weather we should try to look positively on any observing opportunity. Even if the Moon is not our first love, it is still beautiful and breathtaking. We should just enjoy it.


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Big moon fan here...living in a conurbation of light pollution makes it my no. 1 priority. I thoughroly enjoy matching the features to the moon map. I like hunting out the Plato craterlets, the Lunar 'X', and other features that the casual observer wouldn't perhaps know about.

I like DSO's, but it is not very often I make it to dark skies.

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Major Lunar fan....It was the object that drew me into Astronomy, along with the moon landings. Loved observing at first, but wanted to share those sights with my family and friends, so started imaging it (been doing that for a while now, and still never get bored of revisiting places I have seen under different light and different times.... and the surface does change (whether thats by natural impacts still taking place, or man made objects crashing into it)..and then you have the phases.

It has been humanity's constant companion, A source of mystery. She truly is a goddess. 

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I'm on the fence when it comes to the moon (a precarious observing position, I'm sure you'll agree).

As other visual observers have posted, it is constantly changing, showing you new detail, or - familiar detail, quite literally in a new light.

My main issue is that clear skies seem to coincide with the same phase most months, meaning that at present I have only seen a few interesting targets (within the reach of my scope) lit obliquely. I think I will have to do some dedicated planning around the lunar 100!

In a slight variation to the OP and extending the theme of changing orbits, I have often wondered what the moons of our celestial neighbours would look like if they were plucked from their obits and parked where our moon sits.

Just imagine looking up at the lurid scorched surface of Io with volcanoes spewing material over the limb!

How bright would a full moon Europa be given that our moon is essentially the colour and reflectivity of tarmac - replace it with Ice and you'd probably need Moonglasses to stop the glare. Perhaps one for the Imagers out there to consider - it could be worse! :)

Titan would look somewhat odd, a fuzzy orange orb.

Of course, the eclipse hunters would be a bit miffed.......

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