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Messier & Messier A and the "tyre tracks"


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I'm observing the moon at the moment with my 12" dob. A couple of my favourite craters are nicely presented this evening - Messier and Messier A. These two lie in the Mare Fecunditatis.

I love observing this curiously formed pair of craters and reading about the various theories regarding their formation.

At 265x the dark line or band that runs down the centre of Messier is visible. This is actually a pair of lines for most of the crater length and reminds me a bit of a pair of tyre tracks !

With the pair of bright rays streaming away from Messier A (in the opposite direction to Messier) these craters are a very interesting lunar target IMHO :smiley:

Here is an Apollo 15 photo of the pair - my scope can't quite match this ! :smiley:




Edited by John
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2 hours ago, cloudsweeper said:

Very good, John.  I too had a pleasing session with the Moon yesterday (elsewhere) - such clarity and detail!

When I first saw your post, I feared you'd gone over to AP.....


Well the Ethos 4.7 was giving me "Apollo like" views at times ..... but I've avoided the lure of the darkside, thus far :icon_biggrin:

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54 minutes ago, Paz said:

Those rays coming out in particular directions are interesting. I'll have a read about these.

Erich von Daniken would probably interpret them as a landing strip for alien spacecraft ! :rolleyes2:


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They are a stunning crater-ray system!  Will have to look for the 'tyre tracks': can't recall noting them, but I really enjoyed observing these wonderful craters about two moons ago - I definitely muttered an excited "wow!", and looked up lots about their formation afterwards :)

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