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Cracking lunar session - 20th April 2021


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I’m just warming up after an excellent lunar session this evening for a couple of hours. I started off using the Tak as it was already out from solar duties today. Once I saw how nice it was, and the favourable illumination of a few of my favourite targets, I popped the 8” f8 out on the EQ Platform, complete with binoviewers. I have no real ideal what mag I was using! The eyepieces are 25mm which gives x64, but I had a x1.7 GPC giving x109, with an AP Barcon in front of the binoviewers but directly attached. I guess this still gives more than x2 due to the optical path length of the binoviewers. Let’s say x2 though, so x218, and I also used a 2” extension some of the time, likely giving over x300. It certainly felt in that sort of region.

First target was Hadley Rille, and tonight it really did look excellent. Very clear, particularly when the seeing froze every now and then. Probably my best views of this feature.

Rupus Recta and Rima Birt were also very well illuminated, very clear. Normal other suspects such as Hyginus crater and rille, and Treisnecker too. Perhaps not ideal phase for Treisnecker but still showed well.

An honourable mention too for Eratosthenes which looked amazing, so much detail on the crater walls.

Messier and Messier A showed as two v-like bright edges to the craters, with a very well defined split ray trace leading off them.

Proclus and Palus Somni looked incredible. When the seeing stabilised the detail was very sharp, and the contrast in the different areas; the bright ray traces off the crater, the mid grey of Palus Somni then the darker still of Mare Tranquillitatis was wonderful.

I then referred to the lunar 100 list and picked out features favourable for an 8 day old Moon.

No. 23 Mons Pico. Easy to find and standing out clearly in Mare Imbrium. Nice little feature.

No. 46 Regiomontanus central peak. Interesting looking dome with a central crater.

No. 47 Alphonsus dark spots. I enjoyed these a lot, as described really, I saw four dark patches around the edge of the crater Alphonsus.

No. 50 Cayley plains. Not so convinced about this, I found the crater Cayley ok, and the plains around it are supposed to be very smooth. Didn’t see anything particularly obvious, but saw the plains around Cayley so perhaps it’s just that!

No. 51 Davy crater chain. Another nice one, basically a string of small craters running across Catena Davy.

No. 76 W Bond. W Bond is a large crater with broken walls, not that distinct but quite obvious when you find it. W Bond B and C are two craters within the larger one, C being much smaller than B.

No. 92 Gylden Valley. I was expecting this to be difficult but unless I’m missing the point it was fairly straightforward, a straight valley between Herschel and Gylden craters.

No. 96 Leibnitz mountains was a fail, just couldn’t work out what I was supposed to be seeing

No. 99 Ina was another fail. Wasn’t exactly sure where it was or what I was supposed to be seeing. Might have seen it, might not. One for another night after better research.

So, an enjoyable session. Got more tricky once the battery ran out on my EQ platform. For most of the session it was working beautifully, no need to nudge the dob at all unless it was to move to a different target.

This was a shot early on through the Tak, just for the record!

9C943201-C848-44CD-924C-373489E69141.jpeg

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Great report Stu !

Those catenas / crater chains are great - the one across Davy is very delicate and there are some others not far away as well.

I was impressed by the sharpness and clarity of the moon tonight, despite the thin high cloud.

I was pleased to see the rille across the floor of Alphonsus tonight and also the dome next to Gambart C as well as a myriad of other detail.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Stu said:

No. 47 Alphonsus dark spots. I enjoyed these a lot, as described really, I saw four dark patches around the edge of the crater Alphonsus.

I generated this image of Alphonsus which shows the dark spots clearly, just as they appeared.

B60DA1EF-9D20-4672-A25A-7F77BB3D1817.jpeg

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56 minutes ago, Stu said:

I generated this image of Alphonsus which shows the dark spots clearly, just as they appeared.

B60DA1EF-9D20-4672-A25A-7F77BB3D1817.jpeg

I saw those last night. There was also a thin rille visible that runs past the pair of spots in the top right of the crater in your photo.

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22 minutes ago, John said:

I saw those last night. There was also a thin rille visible that runs past the pair of spots in the top right of the crater in your photo.

I was so excited to see the dark spots, I didn’t notice the rille! 🤪 Next time.

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13 minutes ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

An enjoyable read @Stu. I looked at my notes on the Lunar 100 and despite observing this list for over 10 years I am still missing nos. 96 and 99

Thanks Mark. I know they get harder as you go further down the list so I wasn’t expecting much. My biggest problem is I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be looking for in both instances.

Out of interest, what do you note for Gylden Valley? It seemed straightforward but I may have been missing the point!

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33 minutes ago, Stu said:

Out of interest, what do you note for Gylden Valley? It seemed straightforward but I may have been missing the point!

Stu checking my notes I observed this area in January 2014 with the 180mm Mak and binoviewers. I cannot really remember so I looked at what Mick - @Doc stated 'the valley walls clip the south side of the crater Gylden. The surrounding area is dotted with craters and peaks and is full of interesting geological features'

Checking various maps the valley appears to be between Gylder/Sporer/Herschel but I cannot really remember - I need to return and have another look.

 

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7 hours ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

Stu checking my notes I observed this area in January 2014 with the 180mm Mak and binoviewers. I cannot really remember so I looked at what Mick - @Doc stated 'the valley walls clip the south side of the crater Gylden. The surrounding area is dotted with craters and peaks and is full of interesting geological features'

Checking various maps the valley appears to be between Gylder/Sporer/Herschel but I cannot really remember - I need to return and have another look.

 

Thanks Mark. This is what I saw, and assumed to be the valley. Didn’t seem hard enough for number 92, so perhaps the target is a feature in the valley?

B07425BB-2441-4094-9EB0-DD0B4C1778A2.jpeg

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Great report Stu and love the photo with some blue sky. Is that a phone shot? I keep trying with my phone and failing. Is it hand held or do you have something posh holding it in place? And do you have to adjust focus versus how it was for the eyeball? I'd love to be able to take a quick snap to remind me of how the view was.

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1 hour ago, Luke said:

Great report Stu and love the photo with some blue sky. Is that a phone shot? I keep trying with my phone and failing. Is it hand held or do you have something posh holding it in place? And do you have to adjust focus versus how it was for the eyeball? I'd love to be able to take a quick snap to remind me of how the view was.

Thanks Luke. Yes, that was a Phone shot. I do have a variety of posh holding onny thingies which I use when I’m in mono mode. For this one though I was binoviewing, so just hand held it at one of the eyepieces. Sounds weird but it works!

If you don’t wear glasses then the focus should be pretty much the same. I tend to focus with my glasses on, then it is more likely to be right for the iPhone too. I use an iOS app called ProCam 8 which does allow you to focus the phone camera and fix it so you can get it more accurate. It puts a red outline around high contrast features when there are in best focus which is handy.

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I have one of those posh holding onny thingies Stu, had it for six months in fact, so I am going to try it out tonight.....:smiley:

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29 minutes ago, Stu said:

Thanks Luke. Yes, that was a Phone shot. I do have a variety of posh holding onny thingies which I use when I’m in mono mode. For this one though I was binoviewing, so just hand held it at one of the eyepieces. Sounds weird but it works!

Many thanks for the info, Stu. Ahem, this is my best phone effort to date, taken today. I call it "Moon within a moon."  I'd like a quick shot to assist my poor memory post session, but even my weak memory is better than this!

😄

my-lunar-phone-image.jpg

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That's a cracking observation session Stu. I'm really pleased members are still using my Lunar 100 list and observation reports. It seems like a lifetime ago I wrote those up. 

 

 

 

Edited by Doc
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17 minutes ago, Luke said:

Many thanks for the info, Stu. Ahem, this is my best phone effort to date, taken today. I call it "Moon within a moon."  I'd like a quick shot to assist my poor memory post session, but even my weak memory is better than this!

😄

my-lunar-phone-image.jpg

That’s a cracker Luke 🤣🤣

If it’s any consolation, this was one I took of the Lunar X early on in my imaging career 🤣🤣🤣

Latest one here though, so it’s amazing what a bit of practise can do!

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A6F194E3-53E0-4C99-80C4-0D12B735B788.jpeg

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24 minutes ago, Doc said:

That's a cracking observation session Stu. I'm really pleased members are still using my Lunar 100 list and observation reports. It seems like a lifetime ago I wrote those up. 

 

 

 

Absolutely Doc! I use them quite frequently. Thanks for putting it all together, they are an excellent resource, still pinned at the top of the Lunar observing forum I think 👍👍

 

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Hopefully sooner rather than later get my health sorted out and maybe change my kit depending on what the orthopaedic surgeon says I must have a real good go at the moon looks a lot more interesting than I thought. 

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On 22/04/2021 at 19:16, Doc said:

That's a cracking observation session Stu. I'm really pleased members are still using my Lunar 100 list and observation reports. It seems like a lifetime ago I wrote those up. 

 

 

 

Mick I hope you are keeping well and still taking lovely photos. I still refer to your lunar 100 document. To be honest I have never seen a better example.

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