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Beginner's Guide to the Moon...

Lunar Folklore and History:

  • Who were the first people to record the Moon?
  • What role did it play in their culture?
  • When did astonomers begin to understand the Moon?
  • Where did the first lunar science begin?
  • Why did ancient astronomers think the Moon was important?
  • How did the first astronomers use the Moon as a tool?


  • Who was the first person to observe the Moon with a telescope?
  • What did he see?
  • Why did other astronomers become interested in lunar features?
  • When did the first serious studies of the Moon begin?
  • Why did astronomers begin to draw maps of what they saw?
  • How can we use maps to learn to identify lunar features?

Lunar Science:

  • Who were the first modern astronomers to scientifically study the Moon?
  • What were the tools they used?
  • When did the first space missions to the Moon begin?
  • Where did they land on the Moon?
  • Why do we continue to study the Moon?
  • How will we study the Moon in the future?

Let's Begin Observing:

  • Who can study the Moon?
  • What kind of equipment do you need to observe?
  • When is the best time to view?
  • Where do I look on the Moon to find certain features?
  • Why does the amateur astronomer play an important observing role?
  • How do I begin?

With Only Your Eyes:

  • What are the dark places on the visible Moon?
  • When can I see them?
  • What are the names of the maria?
  • What are they made of?
  • What are the light colored areas?
  • What is "Earth Shine"?
  • What else can I observe with only my eyes?

With Binoculars Or A Small Telescope:

  • What are craters?
  • Who are they named for?
  • When can I see specific craters?
  • Where on the Moon do I need to look?
  • Why did craters form?
  • How did they form?
  • What are lunar mountain ranges?
  • Where are the lunar mountains located?
  • How did they form?
  • What is a lunar rille or dorsae?
  • What are other lunar features called?

Let's Begin Observing:

  • Pictorial Map of Features (day 2-4)
  • Pictorial Map of Features (day 4-6)
  • Pictorial Map of Features (day 7-10)
  • Pictorial Map of Features (day 11-13)
  • Pictorial Map of Full Moon Features
  • Pictorial Map of Features (day 16-18)
  • Pictorial Map of Features (day 19-21)

What Other Things Can I See On The Moon?

  • Pictorial Map of Lunar Mission Sites
  • Pictorial Map of Unusual Features
  • Illustration and Explanation of Lunar Libration

Lunar Eclipses:

  • When do lunar eclipses happen?
  • What can I expect to see?
  • How do I rate what I see?

Lunar Occultations

  • What is a lunar occultation?
  • Where do I get occultation information?
  • What do I need to observe an occultation?
  • Who do I turn my findings in to?

Lunar Transient Phenomena:

  • What is a lunar transient phenomena?
  • Where do I go to find information?
  • What do I need to observe?
  • Where do I report my findings?

In Summary...

  • Why should I make sketches?
  • Why should I take notes?
  • Where do I submit my reports?
  • What are the rewards?