Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Coast To Coast Lunar Observe

  • I have been busy surveying the Moon over the last few nights and really enjoying it to say the least. I am feeling like a kid again at the telescope. What makes it even better is if you could share these times with other folks that are as excited about it all as you are. I set up my scope about 7 p.m. and was immediately captivated by the sights. Needless to say I could not contain myself and sent a quick email to my blog buddie Drive By Astronomy. What ensued was a several hour email chat with me at the scope and Drive By on the floor of his family room with Moon charts and a Blackberry connected to who knows what and the both of us ranting about our wonderful Luna! He was blocked by a western N.Y. t-storm from actually being able to see the Moon. I would send him a LNF (lunar News Flash) of what I was observing along the shifting shadow line and he would comment on it or direct me to another target. Loads of fun. Here's a little snippet of the sights Drive By and I explored:
  • It all begin in the north with the light of a new lunar day falling on the Lunar Alps. In particular sunrise on the lone rim peak Mons Piton was breathtaking with the floor of Imbrium still in shadow.
  • Sunrise on crater Cassini and the Lunar Caucaus, this folks is never a boring sight! Cassini is a very interesting sight - one of my favorite floored craters with lots of "character".
  • North Polar region crater Bond with it's "hey I'm really here find me if you can " look of a rubble covered floor and degraded walls.
  • One of the best sights of all was sunrise on crater Archimedes - watching the first rays of light touching the eastern rim and lighting up the near by Apollo 15 landing sight on the base of the Lunar Apenninus. This in the pic above.
  • Mare Vaporum in the Lunar center was puttin it out out. I just love the various textures, shades of surface color, scouring features that are here along with its famous rille features which look like delicate rivers meandering across it's expanse. The pic I posted with this shows this very region in the center - check out bright crater Manilius right of center next to the lunar "Finger Lakes" region to it's right. One of my favorite sights!
  • Let's move south and see the first rays of light just touching the extreme eastern edge of crater Ptolemaeus - but the real show stopper was crater Albategnius/Klein. Central peak shadows on the crater floors and lots of detail in the walls.
  • Sunrise on crater Werner with it's central peak lit up like a star in the darkness with just a touch of dawn light on it's western rim - a wonderful sight.
Being in different time zones it was getting late for Drive By so he had to sign off. He had the uncanny ability to know just when light of a new day would be hitting a particular lunar feature. Just how he was able to do this was kept hidden from me and he seemed to be having a blast with his virtual lunar observe.


Anonymous said...

I've done something similar, but in the olden days of yore when all we had were rotary phones. Sounds like fun.

Drive-by Astronomy said...

Its hard to believe but this was one of the most enjoyable and fun observing("nonobserving"? sessions I have had. My astro pal Richie "The SUG" was simply masterful with his poetic description of la luna and its magnificent topography. It was as if Richie had me at his eyepiece observing the moon myself in spite of the 2000+ miles that separate us geographically. My moon charts came alive with each email as I struggled to respond on my Blackberry which I am completely inept on. What fun it was to anticipate a lunar landform entering the light of the lunar day and have a real time description of its beauty as I sat inside my house surrounded by my own Sea of Showers and Thunder.

Thanks Richie for the great time.

Is it odd for two adults to have this much fun this way? Maybe, but we repeated all again the following evening. More to come...

Sidewalk Universe said...

Barefoot it truly was fun. To live in a age of instant long distance communication and to share in the beauty of the universe is a awesome thing! I know others do this sort of thing all the time and it is not novel or unique but we did have a blast! I miss those old phones by the way .... except for the cords!

Once again Mike you wax poetic in your postings. I am glad it was fun for you! You will be featured in my next posting about our second virtual adventure in lunar reconnaissance! I am happy that we can share our simple love for the universe this way. By the way I will never look at a Sierra t-storm the same way, love the "Sea of Showers."