Monday, July 13, 2009


One of my favorite things is a early morning late summer/fall Sierra foothills backyard observe time. Cool temps and dry air can make for some fun times out in the yard. Our cooler than normal midsummer temps are allowing us to have this experience earlier than normal so let's take advantage of it! I did not have a scope set up due to very hazy skies the evening before so to my bino's we go for enjoyable session with the moon. Armed with day old chilled mud and simple fold out lunar map and my western facing backyard bench and very good skies we start. The moon is passing from waning gibbous to 3rd quarter - I never ever tire of seeing this in the morning sky. It's contrast with the blue sky is awesome! One look with the bino's and my mind is racing again with astronomical delight. Here are some of the delights:

  • Bino's give you the big picture - my foldout map in the pic shows just about what I saw. I really enjoy looking at the shape/curvature of luna. Early this current lunar cycle we had a wonderful eastern tilt - it is now south westerly! Oh my where do I start with all of this. The southern curvature is breathtaking and the crater fields go on forever! The northern pole is hidden waiting for another time to discover it's treasures.
  • The Ocean of Storms is simply enormous and glorious!
  • Mare Orientale stands out on the extreme western edge like a scar and a gouge. Even in the 10x60's its rims, ponds, main floor are clearly visible!
  • Grimaldi against the blue sky is a black hole and my coffee is really strong an creamy!
  • Aristarchus mound is brightly lit and it's uplift is easy to see.
  • Crater rays abound in all directions across the Ocean of Storms. Ok my mind is getting overloaded!
  • The lunar Alps, Caucuses, and Appeinne are being kissed by shadow - it is getting hard to contain myself. I have to tell/share this with someone!
  • Back to the big picture, I am seeing the large scale structure of the moon and it is very complex! No maria are alike, no crater exactly the same, subtle color/shade differences I have to stop before my mind shuts down due to photon imput.
OK I have to start the rest of my day...........will my brain be able to shift gears?


Drive-by Astronomy said...

Although HIPPA (Privacy)regulations do not allow for the diagnosing of one's ailments over a blog site I feel I must so as to protect you from further harm.
I am reasonably certain that you are afflicted with a benign case of Selenomania-"Abnormal love of the moon and its surface features".

However, if you are having difficulty breathing(dyspnea)and experiencing malaise then you may have had exposure to high levels of element Selenium(ie. Selenosis).

Although the two are commonly confused with each other, given your history of repeated visual exposure to the wonders of our moon over the last 2 weeks it is not uncommon to have the moon take your breath away and extended early a.m. observing sessions contribute to sleep deprivation leading to a general feeling of malaise.
If you continue to behave in this manner then it is likely that you will develop a more extreme begign condition know as Selenorrhagic fever- Abnormal or excessive flow of emotion from observing the moon resulting in increased body temperature, periods of giddiness, and enhanced knowledge of lunar topography.
A simple Rx is available: Intersperse of a few observations of double stars, Messier objects, and NGC's amongst the repetitive lunar observations. This should suffice and the condition should be self limiting with excellent prognosis for full recovery.
You will feel best at new moon but symptoms will be increasingly more problematic as the lunar cycle progresses.

You need to seek treatment immediately as you are infecting others around you, namely......ME!

I've waived the co-pay.

Drive-by Astronomy said...

Oh yeah. Glad you had an enjoyable time with the bino's and the moon. I'm holding your Rukl for Ransom

Drive-by Astronomy said...

Glad you enjoyed your day old "Joe" as I did at our last VLO session.

Sidewalk Universe said...

Wow Dr. you have me figured out. I have been in a daze all day.I will take up on your recommendation and observe other stuff real soon! Would a long over due outreach to the public work? No moon to be seen till just after midnight! Oh no - it's 3rd quarter! What shall I do?

The day old was really good. It was Starbucks Gazebo blend freshly ground in the Richie Grinder and brewed with my son's proper instructions. It was really yummy!

OK I realize your medical expertize is worth much but not my Rukl!

Sidewalk Universe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NiteSkyGirl Blog said...

I get like that , hard to contain myself. i get yelling WOOWW. Sometimes i feel like yelling omg people how could you sleep ???????? don't you know what's out here ?? fun times in the yard .. my dog spirit and i always romp around playing in the moon light when it's a bright full moon. when going out and say come , or come on spirit ! fresh air! outside .. nope doesn't work. you know what worls at night ? i say ' stargazing!' up he gets and beats me outside !
say it in the daytime.. he looks at me like .. nice try moron! hee!

NiteSkyGirl Blog said...

drive by ! your HIPPA moon crazy words!!!!!
wow hillarious and awesome! wow i love that! your telling the right person! LOL so much!

Sidewalk Universe said...

Mr.Drive by has a way with words and diagnoses. I think NSG he has us figured out. My web research says there really is no cure but a management program can help us live with this condition. We will be spreading this condition to our neighbors and friends of our respective communities. My neighbor across the street just bought his first scope and I have it in my mind to make sure the Luna is a part of his growing condition!

Dr.Mike, I did what you said and my condition grows worse! In fact as I write this I am enjoying a early morning moon just lovely against the blue sky. Oh the sights of a 3rd quarter moon!

NSG you can never fool a dog! Sounds like you have the condition also, running down the street, I like that!

Drive-by Astronomy said...

You are, I say with deep regret...Terminal. You have infected others and their prognosis is bleak as well. The best course of action would be simply establish a support group here for all of us afflicted folks.
NSG, you have been infected in similar fashion with a slightly different strain. There is no cure. We are here for you!

Sidewalk Universe said...

The Moon and Coffee where great this morning..........I am hopeless!