Lunar Category

It was just a month ago that I had the pleasure of meeting Neil Armstrong in person and listening to him speak--he was vibrant, focused, and inspiring. Sadly, it turned out to be his last public appearance. He passed away this weekend after complications from heart surgery. I just finished...
The annular eclipse that skidded out of Asia, across the Pacific and into the Western US put on a great show Sunday afternoon. We drove up to Monument Valley and set up on the side of the dirt road that runs through the monument. Eclipse watchers were everywhere, viewing with...

Lunar Eclipse - December 10, 2011

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Our daughter set her alarm for 5:30 am to catch the eclipse this morning, and we awoke to the sounds of her crashing into things in the dark house. So, we all got up, threw on our heavy jackets, and drove away from the moon-blocking mass of Mt. Elden....
For every few successful observations, there have to be some failures right? I got up at 3:30 AM to set things up and then watch for any evidence of the LCROSS impact in Cabeus Crater at the lunar south pole (scheduled for 4:31 AM Arizona time). I set the 8...

Lunar Eclipse - August 28, 2007

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Click image for larger version of the photo. Setting my alarm for 2:30 in the morning offers a slim chance that I will actually wake up for it. This morning, I'm glad I did. In Arizona, today's Lunar Eclipse totality ran from about 2:52 to 4:22 am. It was...

Alphonsus and Arzachel Craters

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Observation Notes: The weather and my schedule pretended to offer some cooperation for a lunar sketch tonight. It was pretty mild and only a few patches of clouds were blowing around to the SW. So I set up, drew a bead on the moon and saw that Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus...

Billy Crater and Mons Hansteen

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Observation Notes: After spending time on Shickard, I moved Northward to Billy Crater. It showed a nice intact rim with a dark flooded floor. There were two white splashes on the south-southwest and south-southeast ends of the crater floor. Immediately north of the crater was a bright white spray...

Bullialdus and Surroundings

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Sketch of Bullialdus and SurroundingsMove mouse over sketch to see labels. Click image for larger version. Observation Notes: The seeing was horrible on the night of this observation and I had to keep the magnification to 120X and observe wider fields. There was some very nice terrain to view...

Clavius Crater and Craterlets

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Move mouse over image to view labels. Lettered craters are Clavius labels, unless otherwise noted. Observation Notes: The craterlet pattern in this larger crater is amazing. The floor of Clavius was smooth overall and shaded nicely from light to dark in the setting sunlight. A number of ravines ran...
Tonight's conjunction was a beautiful sight in the dwindling twilight. McMillan Mesa provided a wide open view of the western horizon as the lunar-planetary trio sunk lower. Thin cirrus, and a fresh contrail added color and interesting geometry to an already stunning scene. To cope with the wide dynamic...
Observation Notes: This was my first attempt at a lunar sketch. I had no idea what I was looking at until later. The largest crater at South is Grimaldi. The small but starkly lit crater north of Grimaldi is Lohrmann, followed by the large Hevelius with its distinct central...

Hippalus Crater

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Move mouse over image to view labels. Observation Notes: Wind wasn't a problem this evening like it has been recently, but the seeing was still driving me crazy. It just wouldn't settle down for more than flickers of the eye. Hippalus was right on the terminator, and the rising...

J. Herschel Crater

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Observation Notes: For this 2nd lunar sketch, I ran across this huge crater, J. Herschel, that seemed to straddle a ridge on the northwestern limb of the moon. The apparent ridge on the north edge of the crater, was actually a series of adjacent craters hidden in shadow called...

Mare Crisium and Cleomedes Crater

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Observation Notes: This area was the most prominent set of features on the terminator when I checked it out tonight. The flooded basin displayed an arcuate rille sliding along the inside of the rim. The rim threw stark daggers of shadow, while the basin showed a soft transition from...
Move mouse over image to view labels. This was a daytime observation to see what I could make out naked-eye on the moon. So far, I haven't put much effort into memorizing the major lunar features. I was surprised at the number of features I could distinguish without optical...
Move mouse over image to view labels. The nearly full moon at night is a bear to study naked-eye. There is so much flaring, it is hard to see details. As with my daylight observation on 6/16/05, Mare Tranquilitatis and Fecunditatis were the darkest features. Tycho's white splot also...

Promontorium Laplace

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Move mouse over image to view labels. Observation Notes: Promontorium Laplace was in a very striking position along the terminator when I made this observation Monday night. The gusting breezes tried to shake me off, testing my patience with the vibrating image in the eyepiece, but I hung in...

Ptolemaeus and Surroundings

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Sketch of Ptolemaeus and SurroundingsMove mouse over sketch to see labels. Click image for larger version. Observation Notes: Despite the bad seeing, Ptolemaeus and friends were large and stark enough to put on a good show at 120X. An interesting pillar of shadow within Ptolemaeus seemed bulbous at its...

Schickard and Lehmann Craters

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Observation Notes: It's hard to get used to the fact that the moon plays misery on DSO observations two weeks out of every month. I can see that my biggest interest leans toward those dim patchy things, but given a little time exploring the moon, it still turns out...

Schiller and Bayer Craters

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Observation Notes: This was my first lunar sketch in a lonnnng time. Schiller was very nicely placed. Its northern stretch was in the thickest shadow with one mountain peak illuminated. A ridge peeled away from the southeast side of the crater and was bounded by Bayer on the other...

Vallis Alpes

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Observation Notes: The 7-day old moon is an extraordinary sight. There is so much to see on the terminator. I spent some time observing with Chris Yetman who called attention to brilliant Proclus, spattering white on the easter limb. Vallis Alpes was beautifully lit. It alternatively appeared as a...
Move mouse over sketch to see labels. Click image for larger version. Observation Notes: And so, in the spirit of completing one Lunar sketch and observation every 6 months or so, I present Vallis Schröteri. On the night I made this observation, I was very impressed by the rugged...

The Cerulean Arc

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