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Naked Eye Observations...

(within 72 hours of new) The Old Moon in the New Moon's Arms:

July 13, 2004

Comments: Sky when I got up? No way. Not that lucky two days in a row. It's Ohio! Right now we're lucky if we get one day in five that is relatively clear. So, no one was less optimistic than me when I walked outside on break around 5:15 to have a smoke and get some fresh air. Low and behold, up above the eastern horizon sat the perfect curve of the yellowish Moon playing hide and go seek in the clouds. I guess that qualifies as the very last of my lunar observances, for it is the Old Moon In The New Moon's Arms.

(within 72 hours of new) The New Moon in the Old Moon's Arms:

May 20, 2004 - At 9:00 p.m., I was standing in the west side yard when I saw what can only be a repeat performance of a vision I saw while visiting California.   Venus blazes on the western horizon and approximately ten degrees northwest of it is the most heartbreakingly slender crescent Moon you can imagine.... Just one day old! With just a bit of "skylight" left, the body of the Moon itself looked like a black ball set in the sky, while the lighted portion cradled it from below. Is this the New Moon In The Old Moon's Arms?   I believe so, for it is only hours old.... Setting the scope towards it, the tender slice reveals Humboldt, Undarum and Smithii. Simply beautiful!

(within 40 hours of new) Crescent Moon - Waxing:

May 20, 2004 - 9:00 p.m. - One day old. Appears within 10 degrees northwest of Venus. Both planet and Moon are lit to the northwest side. A unique view!

(within 48 hours of new) Crescent Moon - Waning:

July 14, 2004

Comments: The alarm goes off at 4:45 on the morning of the 14th, and when I put my glasses on, the very first thing I see is a slender crescent sitting on the eastern horizon. It would be the Waning Crescent and less than 40 hours before new.

The Man In The Moon:

Date: April 30, 2004
Time: 9:00 p.m. EDST

Comments: I think, perhaps, the key to seeing these features is relaxation. I had looked at the AL drawings repeatedly and figured I would never "see" some of these things. Maybe you just have to be in the right place at the right time? Who knows... But I know I saw it.

I had been out enjoying a rare "date". As we left the establishment we had been visiting and were walking back to my car, I saw the Moon shining through the hazy skies and stopped to look. My companion is well aware of my fascination with the night sky and his first words were "Why are you looking at that thing again? It's been up there for a billion years." How do you answer a statement like that? I do not. I only sigh and realize no matter how hard I try, this one will never get it. To him? This is nothing more than a natural phenomena and worth nothing more than a glance at best. To me? I want to stand there and stare for a few minutes, please. Because for the very first time I am able to see the mostly disclosed "face" of the "Man In The Moon"....

And he's smiling...

The Woman In The Moon:

Date: April 26, 2004
Time: 10:00 p.m.

Comments: I finally understood it tonight. I have always considered this weird combination of maria Serentatis, Tranquilitatis and Fecunditatis to be the "Mario Man"... Or is that "Maria Man"? Whatever it is, I believe this to be the feature called the "Woman In the Moon".

The Rabbit In The Moon:

October 8, 2003
Time: 7:30 pm EST

It's another beautiful, warm Indian Summer night and the whole world smells like turning leaves and fallen apples. The most unusual thing happened while I was driving, though... It gave me the opportunity to watch the Moon rise and to wax fanciful about what it looks like - and not what it is. The "Rabbit In The Moon" is a compilation of all the dark maria. I have no other way to describe it. The Oceanus Procellarum forms the "ear" while the Mare Humorum makes the "nose". The "body" is Mare Ibrium and the "front legs" appear to be Mare Nubium. Mare Serentatis is the "backside" and the picture is complete where Mare Tranquilitatus and Mare Fecunditatis shape the "hind legs" with Crisium as the "tail". So, I guess ya' gotta' take me coming from both worlds. It is enough that I've managed to "see" the Rabbit, but the rest of my head wants to tell you what the Rabbit is.

What's up, Doc?

Can YOU see it?!?

The Cow Jumping Over The Moon:

October 7, 2003

No, no. I haven't lost it. I had absolutely no intention of observing last night because I know what lunar features would be there, and I simply don't care much for the Moon at the late phases. I wasn't in the mood for Mars, and I'm kinda' "eye tired" to be working on tough doubles. All I really wanted to do is just sit out here on this gorgeous Indian Summer night, under the moonlight, playing guitar and perusing a glass of wine.

And I did just that.

I kept looking at the Moon though... For there is a part in the Astronomy League's Lunar Club Program where you are asked to identify certain unaided eye features.... And to use a bit of imagination. Well, naming features isn't a real problem with me now, is it? And what had really had me sweating about finishing up this certificate is the fact that I've got to daggone use my imagination to "see" something on the Moon besides maria and bright features. Riiiite... That's like asking me to look a Saggitarius and see an "Archer" and not a doggone map of DSOs. It's just difficult for me to do. So here I sit, harmonizing along with a big black bear of a dog sprawled at my feet... And a silver Moon overhead. I keep looking at it... And I am kinda' noticing that those dark features over there could kinda' look like legs if ya' thought about it... (of course, one more glass of wine and the tomato plant would probably look like an alien too, but that's beside the point.) So I made very careful note in my happily furry mind to remember what I saw and double check the the AL Lunar Program... Dang. You know what??

I saw a "Cow Jumping Over the Moon"...

(approximately 10:00 pm EDST)

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