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"Skull" On The Moon, And Apollo 11 Site

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cloudsweeper    2,051

4.25am, clear sky, Moon waning gibbous, best view (near the terminator) was across the eastern seas.

So I set up the 8SE, and aligned on the Moon - very easy, and ensured excellent tracking to enhance the viewing experience.  I hardly waited for cool-down, and went straight to Mare Nectaris, west of the terminator.  The glare was considerable of course, so I rapidly upped the mag to x203 to get it down (rather than bother with a filter).  On changing EPs, the open diagonal resembled a searchlight!

Detail was really sharp, despite being a little wobbly.  I took a chance on x303, but clarity suffered a bit for that, so down to x231.

The small impact crater Rosse in Mare Nectaris stood out like a pimple on the smooth skin of the sea.  South of the sea lies crater Fracastorius, a larger, flooded impact crater, whose northern rim is lower, and littered with tiny craterlets, as is the crater floor.  I tried x303 again for a closer look, but it was still too wobbly.

Then I spotted the skull!  North of the sea lie craters Capella and Isidorus, like two close, wide eyes, with another smaller crater between and below them.  To complete the effect, the features immediately south can - with imagination - be seen as an upper jaw and teeth, altogether a very skull-like arrangement!  (At the very least, the eyes looked like a lemur's.)

Moving north to Mare Tranquillitatis and going down to x169, the detail, texture, and shades jumped out like never before!  Luna does not cease to delight.  The persistent wobbliness did not detract from this splendour however. Crater Maskelyne stood out in the sea, serving as a marker to the east of the Apollo 11 Site - a powerful source for contemplation.

I had just over an hour's worth of pleasure, unexpectedly seeing the Moon as never before, enhanced by the navigational benefits of S&T's Mirror Image Field Map Of The Moon, and the tracking capability of the 'scope.  (Without the latter, observing at high mag would have been somewhat less enjoyable for me anyway!)


Edited by cloudsweeper
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Saganite    714

I wonder if that is the "face" that Mike ( mikeDNight) has referred to in a previous post, though he sees something different to a skull if I recall correctly.:happy11:

Nice report BTW.

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Demonperformer    699

Apologies if this is a bit of a hijack, but can't resist. This is a pic one of my favourite "faces" on the moon - when I first saw it, it struck me as looking a lot like a baboon with its pointed snout. The eyes are Simpelius & Simpelius A, the mouth is Schomberger. Curiously, it was very well placed with the angle of the sunlight this morning.


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Astro Imp    2,732

Great report Doug.

You're completely correct the moon never cease to delight, always something interesting to observe.

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