Astronomy » The Moon

The moon is by far the easiest object to view in the sky. Not only does it present an easy target for the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope, but it is also constantly changing throughout the month and the year.

Ongoing Challenges

An aid to enjoyable lunar viewing is the L100. Designed in a way to compliment the Messier list, this list of 100 lunar features is arranged by ease of locating with the moon itself being L1. With a good atlas such as the one noted above it should be possible to find the majority of the features with an 8" telescope - I hope to be able to do just that with my telescope. You can find the full L100 here.

Another interesting challenge is that of locating the Apollo landing sites. This site contains detailed photos and maps to help you track down the various landing sites helping you to find the area where man took his first steps on a wholly alien world.

Current targets

The moon shifts as it orbits the earth, rocking (or librating) back and forwards. This means that features on the limbs, which are usually hidden to us, are revealed.

Image Gallery


2004-12-16 009

16th December 2004 at 18:15 - Full Globe

This image was taken using the scope set up in my bedroom. Outside the wind was gusty and so I didn't want to set up outside. Therefore, because I had it looking through my bedroom window the viewing conditions were very poor. To get the image I used the 25mm Plossl (x40) and held up the camera to the eyepiece. Click the image to enlarge.


2004-12-19 005a

19th December 2004 at 16:43 - Full Globe

This image was taken with the scope outside on the driveway on a crisp winters evening. Again, the 25mm eyepiece was used with no optical zoom from the camera. Settings: ISO100, f/4.8, 1/125 second exposure. Subsequent contrast adjustment in PSP7. Click the image to enlarge.


2004-12-29 062

29th December 2004 at 23:05

This shot was taken using the Barlowed 25mm Plossl eyepiece (x80 magnification) with the camera positioned on a tripod and placed in front of the eyepiece. The digital zoom of the camera was used up to x6. In this shot can be seen Mare Crisium (the Sea of Crises) with the crater Cleomedes in the center with Geminus, Bernoulli and Messala on the terminator.


The Moon, Late December 2004

29th December 2004 at 23:05

This shot was taken at the same time as the above shot but no zoom was utilised on the camers (x80 magnification). For this reason it is possible to see more general features such as Mare Tranquillitatis and Mare Serenitatis. On the western shore of Mare Serenitatis is the crater Posidinus whilst on the southern limb the four large craters from left to right (east to west in this picture) are Funerius, Petavius, Vendelinus and Langrenus


The Moon

29th December 2004 at 23:05

Another general shot of the Eastern moon with the Seas of Tranquility, Serenity and Crises dominating the shot. Taken at x80 magnification in the same configuration as above.


2005-01-13 038

13th January 2005 at 18:16

A shot of the waning crescent moon with Crisium easily visible at the center of the image, the terminator just catching its western edge.


The Moon

10th June 2006 at 23:35

A shot of the summer's full moon taken by holding up my camera to the eypiece of the Astronomical Society's 114mm reflecting telescope.


Southern Moon

13th September 2006 at 22:00

Detail of cratering near the southern limb of the moon, taken with the Astronomical Society's Canon 350D dSLR at prime focus of my Sky-watcher 200 telescope

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