I set my 10" f/5.7 Dob out back today, seeing clear skies forecast in Pacifica. At 8:30 PM I began preparing for some double stars. Once outside though a nice waxing crescent moon sat about 18 degrees west of Mars, and seemed a good target (and I'd just looked at the nice lunar imaging posted here: http://observers.org/index.php/topic,628.0.html on TAC by Jim Ferreira a few days ago). So, an easy target. In went the 12mm (120x) and I scanned the terminator. Catching my eye was Crater Theophilus right on the Terminator. And, just in the light in a pool of blackness was the tip of the central peak, bright white against the surrounding dark crater interior. Stunning, really. The view was steady so I put in the 7mm (207x) and toyed with the focus. Seeing was "swimmy" - as if a slow stream was washing over the view. But it was often an outstanding view.
|I looked over Theophilus. Its brilliant peak was a speck, surrounded by deep black. The inner edge of the side of the crater in sunlight was brilliant white, with terraces that were difficult to see in perfect detail, but they were obvious. As was a crack in the wall that crossed diagonally toward the upper side. Crater Maulder sat away from the Terminator across Theophilus, its entire floor was black. Up above and to the right, Crater Isadorus and little Isadorus A were sharply defined, with one edge overrun by its neighbor Crater Capella, which is in ruin. Below them, and across the expanse of Mare Nectaris, Crater Beaumont sat showing its horseshoe shape, open toward Maulder. But the one part of the view that really "tied the room together" was that of Craters Magelhaens, Magelhaens 1 and Columbo A, in a nice close arc across and at the edge of the Mare Nectaris. I labeled Columbo as well on the image, although it did not really command my attention like Theophilus and it shinny peak, dead on the Terminator, and the three craters across the Mare from it. Really a terrific view that are worth a return trip.|
|I scanned the Terminator more and stopped at Posidonius, with its broad flat floor, surrounded by low broken walls. On the side away from the Terminator there were two obvious sets of walls, the inner one shorter and more sharply defined, joining the outer wall toward the bottom near a break, where the crater walls opened to the outside, then obviously continuing again as one wall on the other (or Terminator) side, thin, shadowy, and well defined. Its a very nice sight, including little Posidonius A as a dark craterlet just off center in this mostly round formation. I moved to Le Monnier, a lava filled incomplete crater opening on its west side to Mare Serenitatis, the large sea now almost completely in shadow. I was also enjoyed the gentle rolling terrain in varying shades of gray running alongside the inside edge of the big Mare. I moved to the Mons Argaeus area, which is an interesting hodge-podge of terrain with many detailed features. Finally, looking back at Posidonius, I picked up Rima G Bond, a thin bent line running between the big crater and G Bond itself. |
By now, the seeing had changed, and the gentle slow wave had becoming scintillation, making all the craters look as if they were about to break into full boil. In ten minutes, I'd had some nice views. Easy when the observing site is the backyard.
Images are from the freeware Virtual Moon Atlas: https://virtual-moon-atlas.en.uptodown.com/windows, an excellent tool for observing the moon.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 09:39:23 AM by Mark »