Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Looking At The Moon
On the way to my astronomy meeting tonight I was stunned to round a corner and see the moon rising over the trees at the edge of a farmer's field. It was so orange, I swear it was nearly the color of a pumpkin! What a gorgeous sight! I was late to my meeting so did not stop to photograph it, but after the meeting I came home and got out my telescope and watched the nearly full moon for almost an hour. I wanted to share the view with you all, so I took my little point-and-shoot out of its case on my belt, held it up to the eyepiece, and did this shot. Well, actually I did about 25 shots and this is the best of the lot. I never tire of looking at the moon, because the sunlight illuminating it changes from night to night, as the sun rises or sets as seen from the surface of the moon. I move my telescope across the moon with a higher power eyepiece and it's as if I am flying above the surface in a spacecraft. I look for familiar craters and "seas" and sometimes find something that is new to me. Tonight it was the crater Petavius, which has a fracture in its floor that appears as a straight line from the base of the mountains which surround it, and it runs all the way to the central peaks. I needed to find a map, and one of my books of the moon's features in order to identify what I was seeing. I see those features with much more power than the view here. The crater I speak of is just a small circle in the upper left of the moon, in this photograph. Perhaps one of these days I will get out the big telescope, and attach my Nikon D2x to it, and try for a close up view to show you. This really is a lovely sight, isn't it?
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:30 PM