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Stu

Schröter’s Valley and more - 5th April 2020

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Yet another clear sky last night, I can’t recall such an unbroken spell of observing opportunity, and I’ve tried to make the most of them. This has largely meant solar, lunar and Venus as targets but that’s fine with me.

I had been viewing the Sun with the Tak during the day, so just popped a diagonal in to replace the Herschel Wedge, and swung the GP back round in RA and was ready to go on the Moon. Once I had spotted Schröter’s Valley prominently placed, I then decided to put the dob out on the EQ Platform for some more resolution. Throughout the evening the Tak gave more stable and pleasing views, but the dob was showing more detail whilst being more affected by the poorer seeing. As you would expect really. Can wait for some decent seeing to come along!

I initially had the Binoviewers in the Tak, working at x100 and x200, using the zoom in the Dob, but later switched them around so I had roughly x220 and x440 in the dob, very nice! The Leica gives x90 to x180 in the dob which is a very handy range. I compared using the Nagler Zoom with the binoviewers, and whilst optically the Zoom is very sharp, the binoviewer view just seemed some much more expansive and engaging, despite only being 50 degrees AFOV eyepieces; it felt much more.

Anyway, Schröter’s was my first target, and I enjoyed many of the varied features around it. First off Aristarchus showed nice detail in the Crater walls, like broad bright sections alternating with narrow dark sections. Rimae Aristarchus wound its way up towards the crater Neilsen. Väisälä crater was just next to two others, linked by a winding rille, whilst Mons Herodotus stood out clearly with a couple of other ‘Mons’ nearby.
 

EDIT How could I forget Mons Rümker which looked really amazing right on the terminator.

So much seen, and I used the MoonGlobeHD app to identify craters and features as I went. The labelling is not always the easiest to follow so cross referencing with other sources afterwards helped.

I tried without success to see Rimae Prinz, maybe more power and better seeing requires, but the crater and surrounding features showed well. Krieger and it’s surrounding/embedded craters was interesting.

Mons Gruithuisen Delta and Gamma make a nice pair, with a kind of wiggling tadpole feature coming off Delta. I then followed Marian, Sharp and Harpalus down towards the terminator. I spent while a while enjoying the craters right along the terminator, including Herschel, Babbage and Pythagoras. I enjoyed Philolaus which had a bright textured crater wall which stood out clearly on the terminator.

The ray traces around Kepler contrasted well against Mare Insularum and what I assume is Oceanus Procellarum. I then moved across to Gassendi, before picking up Schiller, Schickard and Bailly right on the terminator.

As said, so much more seen, that’s just a summary. Really want to get the scope under some good seeing to see just what it can do.
 

Lastly, whilst packing away I saw this little fella wandering down the garden. I haven’t seen one for a long time so it was very good to see.

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Great report Stu :thumbright:

Nice to see the hedgepig as well.

We had a cloudy night here and actually quite a bit of rain (which the garden needed) so it was movie night with my other half last night.

Hope to get out with a scope again tonight though.

You can understand why Sir Patrick Moore spent so much time observing the Moon - there is so much to see !

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Thanks John. Yes we had rain overnight too, although it was still completely clear when I packed in around midnight.

Might have a night off tonight, or perhaps just a quick looks at Venus! Feels like I’m binging on Astro at the moment! 

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Posted (edited)

I observed Rümker for the first time last month -  exactly like your image Stu - very prominent because it is so dark. Went inside and read up on it: apparently it's the largest shield volcano on the Moon. Amazing structure.

Edited by Peter_D
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18 minutes ago, Peter_D said:

I observed Rümker for the first time last month -  exactly like your image Stu - very prominent because it is so dark. Went inside and read up on it: apparently it's the largest shield volcano on the Moon. Amazing structure.

Yes, it looked very dark and obvious looming on the terminator didn’t it!

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Great report there Stu. The moon is looking spectacular at the moment. Did you use any kind of moon filter for viewing? I was viewing the moon last night also and it is now getting to the point where its is seriously bright again.  I think I might have to filter up tonight..

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2 hours ago, Barry-W-Fenner said:

Great report there Stu. The moon is looking spectacular at the moment. Did you use any kind of moon filter for viewing? I was viewing the moon last night also and it is now getting to the point where its is seriously bright again.  I think I might have to filter up tonight..

Yes, it has been pretty amazing to watch so many nights in a row.

I quite often use a Baader Neodymium filter which I find good, and just enough to knock the brightness back. Last night though I was observing without any filtering, the high power keeps the brightness manageable. I suspect younger/more sensitive eyes may need more in the way of filtering though.

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