Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Short Lunar Excursion Turned To A Long Lunar Excursion

What can I say - I had a total lunar melt down yesterday. One simple benign look in the late afternoon sent me on a foray across the lunar surface scavenging until 9:30 pm. I am not totally sure what came over me but it was like I never saw the moon before. Moon Fever? The Moon never ceases to amaze, and fill my life with a sense of wonder - it is an incredibly simple observation to make requiring only simple tools to do it well. What started this afternoon and evening track across our nearest neighbor in space - here's just a part of the fun:

  • It started by viewing an incredible sunrise on the crater Theophilus with it's western edge all aglow and the central peak mountain looking like a star in the middle of a dark cave. I have seen this effect before but today's was awesome.
  • Across the way are the Pyrenaeus Mtn in stark detail.
  • Sunrise on the Altai Scrap - lots of shadows and relief.
  • Janssen crater complex with it's degraded northern wall spilling the crater's guts outward.
  • Mare Australe with it's ponding effect.
  • Out on the extreme edge crater Humbolt with it's lite and dark flooring and bright central Mtns.
  • Mare Marginis with kitty face. Just north of Marginis is crater Al-Biruni with it's flooded dark floor and rim all lighted up looking like a annular eclipse against the mare. There is a wonderful blanket of very bright material on the northern rim of the crater. I have never seen this before - really cool!
  • Let's look at the rim of Crisium. The canyons and ejecta scouring are awesome in the north western section.
  • N.E. section of the Moon's north pole is awash with subtle detail of great events - I do not find this part of the Moon boring!
  • Sunrise on Mortis Lacus/Lacus Somniorum - could spend a bunch of time here.
  • Back down to the Nectaris Basin and to the little mentioned Sinus Asperitatis. The sun is now showing off the ejecta blanket of Theophilus and the 2 boarding peninsula's are fun to meander through. This is the gateway to Mare Tranquillitatis, so much here to enjoy.
  • Sunrise on eastern Serentatis - just like you see in the picture I posted: Serpentine Ridge snakes it's way across the Mare, floor fractures of Posidonis, the Taurus Mtns and the Apollo 17 site, sunrise on crater Plinius.
I think you get the idea, it was loads of fun. Along the way I was sending emails to my outreach buddy Mike A (Drive By Astronomy) in Buffalo N.Y. as he was occupied with a graduation party for a niece and nephew. I really just wanted to share the fun with someone!


NiteSkyGirl said...

Must be moon fever around ! I felt it tonight when i stepped outside around 7pm and thought of writing how i'm looking forward to a good couple of weeks of moon watching is coming. great weather helps increase the fever. first i felt it and planning on going outside in a few to look at it... wow first i thought it and was going to post about then i read yours here!! wow what a coinkidinky , we must be wearing the same pajamas today !

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey NSG - Tis the season to explore luna. Just got off line with Mr.Drive By, we were doing a online lunar observe with me look'n at a wonderful clear sky Moon and he was all t-stormed in pouring over his lunar charts with the aid of his blackberry! It was fun to banter back and forth!

Fun viewing tonight NSG - I may add some more lines to this post, just had 2 more sessions of neato moon stuff since the first posting. I could go on and on...............

This astronomy thing never runs out!

I hope these rants of mine encourage others to do this stuff-we are so lucky to have this.

And I did all this lunar stuff without pj pants - khaki shorts, t-shirt, bare feet!

Sidewalk Universe said...

Ok that ending did not come out right.I was wearing khaki shorts, t-shirt, and I had bare feet!

Fully clothed and in my right mind!