Sunday, February 28, 2010

BBFMO - A Back To Basics Full Moon Observe 2/28/10

Full moon tonight - the bane of backyard astronomers along with some high altitude haze. Is this worth the effort and time? Well that depends on your attitude, and what do you want to accomplish. I always see something new every time I observe as I exercise patience with a good dose of expectation. I was sitting out in the backyard lounging and reading when I started to complicated this observe and I found my expectation rising! No full moon is the same due to several factors:
  • The moons orbit around the Earth is not a perfect circle so it's distance varies and accordingly it's size will vary.
  • Full moon time will vary depending upon where I am on the Earth and where Luna is in her race around the Earth. This full moon is official at 11:38 a.m east coast(8:38 a.m here) time. So by the time I see it in NV at sunset, around 6:15 p.m pacific time I am 9 hours past full and the eastern edge of the moon has receded a bit into shadow. Sometimes full moon time will be when it is right over my head!
  • And finally because of Luna's tilting action (libration) we see the edges (north south east west) more or less. In the pic note that the lunar south & west are very exposed, north & east is very closed. A bobbing moon - so cool!
Tools of the trade are very basic too - how about a GalileoScope (SUGALEO SCOPE as coined by Drive By Guy) with cheap camera tripod, basic eyepieces & two 2" eyepieces which fit and focus, filters which happen to fit real nice in the friction held dew shield, basic moon map and atlas book.

And of course there must be food and drink. Tonight it is a blueberry scone, maybe a espresso but for sure some hot tea - Earle Grey anyone? We must have 30 or so boxes of tea in various places around the kitchen. That scone has a subtle likeness to tonight's quarry - imagine a little if you please:
  • It is not perfectly round.
  • It has rough edges.
  • Lite and dark shading with a uneven surface texture.
  • Bright marks punctuate it's surface.
  • Looks like a full moon with a southern exposure!
I will let you know how it goes. Why not do your own?


Drive-by Astronomy said...

SUG you are on a roll or should I say a scone with your rapid fire posts. Another fine one at that.

Yes only some simple gear is surely all that is required to enjoy her dazzling beauty. Thanks to you SUG, I no longer curse her full illumination. Yes it is truly your attitude for her phase may wax and wane but her beauty does not waiver.
I do regret that I have been limited by the weather to gaze upon her full silvery brilliance.

Clouds have not detered the abuncance of food in the Drive-by domicile but clear skies continue to be evasive and transitory. Soon this too shall pass as Spring arrives.

Culinary delights endlessly are emitted from the SUG's kitchen not unlike that of the jets of high energy particles from the super massive black hole of Centaurus A. Maybe Chandra should take a look toward Sparks, NV. What would it see? It would surely detect a highly energized SUGster.

A fine "selenic" scone... Is that Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus and Arzachel upon the shore of the Sea of Clouds?

Cool astro stuff and "Cup of Joe" maker ... Is the Rukl just off camera? Where is that Rukl? Still vacationing in Western NY possibly?

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey it was a neat observe time. I cannot recall a time I waited so anxiously for a full moon rise. Oh there was a Lunar eclipse in the late 90's we had here where moon rose eclipsed - fun!

By the time Earth spun around enough for me to see Selene she was past full. By 9:30 p.m local time a noticeable part of her eastern edge was now in shadow, waning gibbous - or what I like to call the moon one day before/after full a "more moon"!

The scone was great and I had extra portions at dinner so I was very fueled.

The hazed thickened by 8:30 and acted as a natural filter and believe it or not the naked eye view was outstanding! This would have been a good night for a newbie to learn the lunar Maria layout!

I am glad your eating well even if you can not see anything! Mrs SUG and I went through some cookbooks and we are ready to try some new things.

My Rukl Atlas is greatly missed - please send it back!

Johany said...

It's snowing over here in CT. I won't be enjoying the moon tonight with my binos!

I can't wait to see what new recipes you and Mrs. SUG are going to be cooking up! Don't forget to leave plates out with good portions for Drive-by-Astronomy and me!!!

Sidewalk Universe said...

When you get your new Dob - great choice by the way - you want to get "Observing In the Snow"by Drive-by Astronomy Guy. He has all kinds of tips based on years of experience out in the white stuff. In chapter 4 he discusses the proper use of a snow blower, shovel, and broom to clear out a observing site for yourself. Chapter 7 is really neat "Igloos as Observatories". Chapter 8 covers "Snowball Fights As Part of Your Winter Public Program".

Remember, astronomy books, guides, and atlases are important!

NiteSkyGirl Blog said...

re: My March Jack Stargazer videos

My beau ?? oooooh why i aughta! no beau for me Sidewalk Dude!

I picked pets, saw my brother and sister go thru it and WOW pain in the keister !! I'm just enjoying being meself.

Johany said...

Snowball fights in chapter 8 sounds like so much fun! I can't wait to get my hands on those tips! Xmas, please come already!!!