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Thread: The Moon - what it has to offer and the best phase to view it

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    Default Re: The Moon - what it has to offer and the best phase to view it



    Yes, it is true that the Moon can obscure many deep sky objects but I find it fascinating. Unlike most people, I like to snap the full moon with its rays and lava-filled craters.
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    Default Re: The Moon - what it has to offer and the best phase to view it

    Hi Alex,

    A superb article and amazing drawings (your are gifted). Because of your article, you have given me some subject matter to look into and this may cause me to curse at the moon a little bit less (only a little bit though!)

    Thank you for taking the time to write this definitive (thankfully to the point) observing guide. Kudos.

    Cheers,
    JT
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    Default Re: The Moon - what it has to offer and the best phase to view it

    Hello Alex,

    That's a great set of drawings. I frequently target the moon, which always has a lot to show us. When sketching I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the incredible amount of detail in even a small region. Your drawings have a very "splashy" feel - as though the next giant impact might happen at any moment. Love it!

    Cheers,
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    Default Re: The Moon - what it has to offer and the best phase to view it

    Good writing, amazing sketches!
    Q: For anyone doing lunar photography, has anyone tried using pics from two full moons at different times of libration cycle to construct a stereo pair?
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    Default Re: The Moon - what it has to offer and the best phase to view it

    Thank you all for your kind words. I asked bryan (bladekeeper) to proof read my first draft for which I am most grateful. Thanks Bryan

    GCoyote, your stereoscopic photo idea sounds awesome! And one heck of a project for anyone to undertake. I wonder if it may even be possible in a few other ways too. One would also make use of libration for areas around the limb and along the terminator. The latter being excruciatingly difficult as the timing of the phase is critical for the correct shadow alignment. Another could be much simpler by taking one pic and then waiting a few minutes to take a second pic. Not too long as the shadow lengths might change too much. I guess a series of pics could be taken after the first to work out the most effective period between first and second images for the most effective stereoscopic results.

    Come to think of it, there was an image along these lines I think posted here on AF, or at least a link to this image done with Jupiter. Two pics taken with a short interval between the two to allow for small amount of rotation of Jupiter, and the images arranged for "cross-eyed viewing" . So freaking awesome the result!!! I wonder if a similar thing could be done with Luna and shadow creep along the terminator? Hmmm...

    Alex.
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    Default Re: The Moon - what it has to offer and the best phase to view it

    Outstanding!
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    Default Re: The Moon - what it has to offer and the best phase to view it

    Why does the Moon always show the same face?

    This is something that should to be addressed here. It is an oft asked question, and the main reason for the Moon's appearance.

    That we always see the same face is due to a phenomenon called Tidal Lock. This means that the period of its axial rotation is the same as its period of orbit around Earth.

    A reason as to why this is the case is in the word "tidal". The sea tide we see on Earth are due to the play of gravity from both the Moon and the Sun. In a tidal lock situation, there would be an of-set in the centre of gravity of the orbiting body, where the far side is heavier or denser than the near side, and a balance is found where the heavier side is drawn to the outside of the orbit, and this locks the oribit period into matching the rotational period. A centrifuge situation.

    Tidal locking is actually very common and found with many satellites (moons) of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Jupiter's Moon Io is one such satellite in a tidal lock, and the gravitational push and pull Io experiences from Jupiter and the other Galilean moons is so great it has caused it to have active volcanoes the friction generated is so great from this tidal influence.

    For our Moon, this tidal lock has also meant that its near side is far less heavily cratered than its far side. The far side of the Moon has taken the lion's share of The Great Bombardment early on in solar system's history as Earth cleared up its orbital path. The Earth has actually taken many more hits from asteroids than the Moon just from its stronger gravitational pull, but we see very few craters on Earth due to the atmosphere first burning up much of what enters, and then erosion destroying craters that do form over time.

    Oh, and new craters are forming on the Moon every day. In the same way that we see meteors in the sky every night, the Moon is experiencing the same bombardment. Most of this stuff is sand like in size and burns up in our atmosphere, and what does land on Earth is not very big. But the Moon has no such atmosphere to protect it, so everything hits it and forms a crater, from microscopic in size, to kilometres wide, though really big impacts are not too common.

    Alex.
    Last edited by mental4astro; 12-29-2017 at 12:02 AM.

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    Default Re: The Moon - what it has to offer and the best phase to view it

    Gorgeous!!!
    Thx Alex for all this resourceful information
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    Default Re: The Moon - what it has to offer and the best phase to view it

    Your drawings are amazing to say the least! Just earlier tonight my 20 year old son and I was looking through my Meade Adventure Scope 80 f/5 at the Ptolemaeus/Alphonsus area. Then I read your post, and there it was again! Thanks for this post, and I agree you could easily write and illustrate a facinating book about the moon.
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    Default Re: The Moon - what it has to offer and the best phase to view it

    Alex! Thanks for sharing this wonderful resource - you are truly an inspiration.
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