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Doc

A trip along the terminator..

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Meade lightbridge 16" F4.5 FL 1829mm

21.02.2010

Moon illumination 48.1%

Lunation 7.73 days.

Cold but clear.

My Journey along the terminator started off by crossing the Mare Frigorus and downwards to where Plato was just emerging from the terminator. Within the terminators blackness the tops of Mount Pico and the Mountains of Teneariffe were visible as white beacons amoungst the darkness. This looked fantastic and I was just transfixed for some time.

Then onto the Alps Mountains which really looked fantastic in the 7 Uwan at x261. I could see the entire length of the Alpin Valley which is 79 miles long and 7 miles wide. The valley starts in the middle of the Alps and ends on the Plains of Frigorus. The 4 Uwan at x457 was a little soft but it gave you the feeling of flying above the Alpine Valley looking down at all it's beauty.

The 7 Uwan gave me fantastic views across the Mare Imbrium pass Archemedies and it's two little neighbours Autolycus and Aristillus and the little peak off Mount Piton, which really stood out casting a wonderful shadow onto the Mare Imbrium basin.

Looking around this area I saw the likes of Piazza Smyth a bowl shaped formation which according to Virtual Moon Atlas requires a 200mm scope, also the shadow formed by Mount Piton was just touching a little crater called Piazza Smyth V which is only 4 miles in diameter.

Moving soutwards along the terminator I crossed the wonderful Apennine mountian range and briefly visited Mons Huygens and made my way down the slopes to the edges of Mare Vaporum. This sea is scarred with many small ridges and little cratlets. keeping to the sides of the Vapour Sea I transversed the Rimae Bode ,a 48 mile long rille which is only 1 mile wide and of unknown height according to VMA I need at least 300mm of aperture to see this, but in my scope it was very elegant indeed and quite easy to see in the 9mm Ortho.

At the end of this long trek along the Bode Rille I came accross a very unusual and deformed crater which is actually 2 craters in one. They are called Pallas and Murchison through my 6 mm Ortho I could see very steep slopes supporting Chladni to the South-East and Pallas to the North-West. The Walls were steep and the reflection from the sun made them look very serile. The little crater Murchison C to the South-West was being gobbled up by the lava of Sinus Medii to the South-East.

Through the 6 mm Ortho I could detect a lovely valley system very similar in length and breadth to the Alpine Valley. It is situated between Murchison and Ukert and actually hugs the ridge of Ukert. I couldn't get a name from VMA and indeed it is very hard to make it out.

The terminator continues it's sweeping darkness southwards just hugging the edge of Sinus Medii and the crater Flammarion. Just near Flammarion lies the very dark crater Herschel. It is very deep at 11400 ft and approx 25 miles in diameter. I inserted my 4mm Ortho at x 457 and could detect very little due to the darkness within the crater, but the sunlight was just catching it's outer rim making for a lovely sight.

Herschel hugs the outer rim of one of the most famous craters that being Ptolemaeus. At 93 miles in diameter it's pretty impressive. I decided to count the cratlets inside Ptolemaeus and including the large one I saw 9 cratlets, this is with the 9mm Ortho.

Next on the list was Alphonsus which is 71 miles in diameter and 8300 feet deep, It is famous for the probe Ranger 9 which was launched on 21st March 1965 at 21.37(UT) from Cape Kennedy. It took 5814 pictures of the moons surface before crashing into Alphonsus on the 24th March 1965 at 14.08. Another promienent feature of this crater is the wonderful central peak and some rilles which according to VMA require 500mm of aperture. Not sure if I caught this but through the 6mm ortho I defintely saw rilles within Alphonsus's basin so I think I may have seen this extremely rare sight.

I kept heading along the terminator which by now was hugging the cliffs of the craters Arzachel and along the edges of Purbach, Regiomontanus, and Walter. I was now entering a very built up and cratered area, so many peaks and valleys came into view. One little landmark did stand out and it consisted off two very bright lines just to the south of the crater Licetus. The white lines lie either side off a small crater called Licetus B. Very unusual and very bright, once again VMA is not detailed enough to tell me what they are.

Well that finishes my journey down the terminator.

Edited by Doc

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Mic

Nice report. :eek:

It's been a while since I viewed the Moon.

I will have to get into it again :evil6:

Cheers

Ian

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I took a ride along the terminator on Saturday evening after making an aperture reducer for the 114mm reflector, although I haven't a clue as to any of the features which I enjoyed. I shall probably have another look shortly, as the 1/4 moon is now dominating the sky.

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Viewing the moon through a 16" is something really special. I add alot of details as I lve knowing what I'm looking at and what size the object is etc.

Also I have a record of ll my observations here on SGL just incase my computer crashes or I loose my notes etc.

Glad you like it anyway...

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Mick

Your observing notes are always so enjoyable. I don't study the Moon that often but reading your reports makes me feel I should start.

Most enjoyable.

Mark

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Nice report Mick. The moon is an often neglected target but it is fascinating to wander over the terminator with high mag when conditions permit.

Now all you need is some binoviewers to really make it an experience :eek:

Philj

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That's very impressive Mick, that's a lot detail you have described.. I'm most impressed you know all the crater names. I'm ashamed to say that after 27 years of looking at the moon i know only 7 crater names.

Russ

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Lovely report Mick, almost lyrical. I may actually get my ep's out next time :eek:

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great report Doc. you can't beat a night with the moon:)

how does it compare through the big dob and the small frac?

The detail you see through a 16" is utterly fantastic, with a 4mm ortho on a steady night you can actually see the cliff edges in the craters, I bet I can see craters a mile accross at times.

Most of the rilles become visible and objects such as catena craters are easily seen.

That's very impressive Mick, that's a lot detail you have described.. I'm most impressed you know all the crater names. I'm ashamed to say that after 27 years of looking at the moon i know only 7 crater names.

I know a few more then you and thats all, the names I get from a moon map, bit by bit I'm learning a few more.

Edited by Doc

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Wonderful report Mick. Have you ever sketched lunar features? I made my first attempt a couple of evenings ago on Pythagoras crater. It turned out ok I think, albeit with my 8.5" as it was too windy for the 16"

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No haven't tried lunar yet, done quite a few clusters and galaxies. Just bought a C Mount of FLO so am going to try and connect my Sony videocam up to my 16" Dob and see if I can video the moon and planets. Idea is to just let the object drift through the fOV while recording it.

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