Binocular or Small Scope Objects...

Lunar Rays:

February 19/20, 2003
Time: 11:45-12:30 am EST
Seeing: 7/10
Telescope: 4.5 Celestron
Eyepiece: 26mm Meade

Comments: Perhaps one of the more peaceful parts about tonight's observance of the Moon was tracing lunar rays. A very bright and beautiful one extends diagonally across Mare Serenetatis, stretching from just about Atlas and Hercules and terminating in the Haemus Mountains.

Tycho's rays are also rather fantastic tonight, for they cut across the southern highlands like bright ditches cut through the myriad craters. One intensive ray stretches from Tycho clear across to Mare Nectaris! Another such ray extends toward the southwest and appears to almost continue around the curvature of the limb, and yet another branches off, creasing the edge of Mare Numbium.

Overlit Copernicus also has its' own ray system that extends in all directions like fine, spidery fingers. Keplar's rays are more sharp, and impact looking as opposed to Copernicus' soft cracks in the surface. The "impact" look of Keplar highly reminds one of a bullet hole in thick glass.

One of the finest places to observe Lunar Rays extends from Crater Tycho featured in this frame.

Sinus Iridum:

February 11, 2003
Time: 7:15-8:00 pm EST
Seeing: 4 7/10
Binoculars: 5X30 Tasco
Scope: 4.5 Celestron
Eyepiece: 26mm Meade

Comments: With binoculars the Sinus Iridium is easily distinguishable as a bright "C" shaped ring directly on the terminator at the most northern point.

With the scope at low power, it is easy to make out both promentoriums and crater Bianchinni in the Juras mountain which create it's rim.

Sinus Iridum is featured in this still frame. Promentorium LaPlace is the brighter "tip" at the lower edge, while Heraclides is darker and at the upper edge. Crater Bianchinni sits center in the C-shaped ring of the Juras Mountains which rim it. To the Sinus Iridum's "right" is a portion of Mare Nectaris and sparkling crater Harpalus.

Sinus Medii:

Date: December 1, 2003
Telescope: 4.5 Celestron
Eyepiece: 25mm Celestron SMA
Time: (precise time not listed. reports indicate early p.m. viewing.)

Comments: Mare Vaporum has changed quite a bit from last night, and the Sinus Medii now takes the attention in this area. It is far from the specific shadows of yesterday, but it holds its' own interest in knowing that Surveyor 6 set down there once upon a time, digging up soil samples and experimenting with particle spectography. It's just cool knowing it danced around on its' little thrusters there!

Sinus Roris:

Date: April 13, 2003
Telescope:  4.5 Celestron
Eyeoiece:  25mm Celestron
Time:  (no specific time listed.  reports indicate early p.m.)
Comments:  You simply could not miss Copernicus and its' fine ray system. It was in total competition with Kelplar as well... Gassendi is pefect on the terminator and Schiller looks like a long, hollow well... But ya' know what? I don't want the usual. If it's not different... It's not me!

So let's go way North...

Ah... Now that's more like it! Carpenter, Anaximander, Pythagoras, Babbage, Sinus Roris and the emerging Harpaulus and Focault!! You can really see depth and breadth in the Juras Mountains now... Tiny Bouguer, (please tell me you don't pronounce that "booger, ok? ;) the small punctuation of Carlini, and even the overlighted presence of the Straight Range between Plato and the Sinus Iridum. I like this...

Palus Sonmii:

Date:  October 31, 2003
Telescope:  4.5 Celestron
Eyepiece:  25mm Celestron
Time:  (no specific time listed.  reports indicate early p.m.)
Comments:  The Moon complied in grandiose style. What better way to stick with the "haunted" theme than to have clouds racing over the surface? Werewolf Moon... I love it. During the breaks in the clouds, the surface would shine with the same beauty it always has... Aristotle, Eudoxus, the edge of the Caucasus Mountains, the triple form of Cyrillus, Theophilus and Catherina... But, like always, there is one surface feature that looks like no other. This is why I truly love to watch the Moon... It changes all the time!

On Halloween Night the most incredible feature on the Moon was Palus Somni. Known as the "swamp", I watch between visitors and this very unusual feature tonight. Extending in Mare Tranquilatatus, the Mare itself looks unusually dark tonight and the Palus Somni looks almost like a fog hangs over its' rocky landscape. Quite pretty, actually... And a feature I don't really recall having seen it draw attention to itself. No matter. It is tonight!

Palus Epidemiarum:

Date:  June 23, 2002
Scope:  Celestron 4.5
Eyepiece:  25mm Celestron
Time:  Shortly after midnight
Comments:  Crater Schickard tried best to steal the show, with its' massive 135 by 150 mile expanse... soft, dark stains showing on the floor. But what caught my eye was the Palus Epidemiarum... and all the surrounding craters which are unnamed on my map. From Fourier to Vieta they stretch, with the emerging LaGrange behind them. Most beautiful... And so alive with detail!

Date: April 29, 2004
Telescope: 4.5 Celestron
Eyepieces: 17mm Sirius Plossl, 12.3mm ED Epic
Time: 9:15 p.m. Seeing: 5 9/10

It is Palus Epidemiarum... And the details around it are undeniable. Craters Campanus and Mercator, the little orafice of Ramsden, the ancient Capaunus and tiny Elger... How can you not want to look at this? With the 12.3mm in place, you can even see evidence of rima across the floor like tiny bright cracks in a sunparched landscape. Even as horrible as the video camera does at taking pictures? You can still see the bright beginning lines of them! And steady? Oh, so steady... The "heart shaped" area of Epidemiarum just smacks with tiny details. Above it, even the longated peanut shape of Lacus Timoris lights up with tiny craters Haidinger and Epimenides. Truly a wonder to behold...

Mare Vaporum:

Date:  November 30, 2003
Telescope:  4.5 Celestron
Eyepiece:  25mm Celestron
Time:  (no specific time listed.  reports indicate early p.m.)
Comments:  While there were a great many features that took the eye immediately, like Eudoxus, Aristotle and the partially disclosed Hipparchus. I kinda' found my attention wandering a bit to the south and exploring Stofler. I can see my "wizard" standing at the edge of crater Farraday, but it just doesn't look the same in this light. I guess if there was a feature that would capture my imagination and keep it there?

It would be the "Horseshoe" tonight.

Caught in Mare Vaporum, both the Ariadaeus Rille and Hyginus Rille show very well, but the "Horseshoe" looks very unusual at just this point in time. It's really not anything special... Just an unusual area caught in the lava flow that resembles a healed scar. There are a few nice features that show as well, like crater Boscovich and its' central wall... But I just like that eye-shaped area with the rille creasing through it.

The emerging Mare Vaporum and the strange and unusual "Horseshoe".

previous page
next page