The Sun Solar System: the Moon Planets observing logs




February 29th, 2004: Lunar observing log

I started my 3 hour observing session about 19.00 hours UT. I observed from my backyard, using the f/10 2000mm TAL 200K Klevtzov-Cassegrain, a 32 mm televue plossl eyepiece, and a series of Vixen Lanthanum’s ranging from 25mm to 7 mm. I did not use any filters. I made some digital images, using the Nikon Coolpix 4500 with a Nikon remote control and two ScopeTronix adaptors to connect the camera to the eyepieces. I shot all the image using the S mode (Shutter Priority Auto). In this mode you can only change the exposure time. The camera adjusts the aperture automatically. The flash was switched off (for more details on the image data, please go to the table at the end of this report).

All images are stacked out of multiple images using Keith’s Image Stacker (Mac). The stacked images are processed (rotate, unsharp masking, auto color) using image processing software. The images are oriented with North up and West to the left, as in the Rukl Moon Atlas.

If you want to jump to a specific image or the data table, use the links below.

Image 1: Overview of a nine-day-old moon
Image 2: Detailed image of the southern half of the nine-day-old moon
Image 3: Detailed image of the Clavius region
Image 4: Detailed image of the Plato region
Table with data on the images



Image 1: Overview of a nine-day-old moon

In the North, you already see a large part of Mare Imbrium with on its northern rim Plato and the Montes Alpes (Rukl 3/4). On the southern rim of Mare Imbrium we see the Apennines and Eratosthenes (Rukl 21/22). Near the eastern rim of Mare Imbrium lies a group of three craters, Archimedes, Autolycus and Aristillus (Rukl 12). Going further south you first come across Mare Vaporum, Triesnecker, and Sinus Medii before you see a distinct “chain” of three craters: Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus and Arzachel (Rukl 44/55). If you go further towards to the south you see Tycho (Rukl 65) and Clavius (72). On this overview image, a lunar ray is visible originating from Tycho, that can be followed right over the surface of Mare Nectaris.

Lunar picture


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Image 2: Detailed image of the southern half of the nine-day-old moon

In the nort (up) you can see the three craters Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus and Arzachel (Rukl 44/55). Alphonsus and Arzachel both have a central peak, which are clearly visible. In Ptolomaeus you can see a smaller crater, Ptolomaeus A. To the southwest of Arzachel lies Rupes Recta, the Straight Wall, as a long dark line. This is 110km long lunar fault with a height that varies between 240 and 300 meters. Right to the west of Rupes Recta lies the crater Birt, with Birt A on its southeastern edge. Birt has a diameter of 17 km and Birt A is only 6.8 km wide. Further to the south we find a group of craters, with Walter and Deslandres as the biggest (Rukl 64/65). Near the northeastern rim of Walter a small group of three craters can be seen.

Lunar picture


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Image 3: Detailed image of the Clavius region

On this image we see Tycho (Rukl 64) with its central peak, in the Northwest. The crater wall and the central peak throw beautiful shadows across the crater floor. This crater is named after Tycho Brahe, a Danish astronomer and observer who lived from 1546 to 1601. During full moon, it is the heart of some very bright crater rays. On image 1 you can see one of these rays lying across Mare Nectaris.

To the southeast of Tycho lies Maginus, and beyond Maginus you find the mighty crater Clavius. In Maginus (Rukl 73), which has a diameter of 163 km, you can see three smaller craters on its northwestern rim, Maginus N, F and G. Near its northeastern rim lies Maginus A. In Clavius, which has a diameter of 225 km (Rukl 72), you can see a chain of smaller craters. The biggest (on the southern rim) is Rutherfurd, named after an American astronomer who lived from 1816 to 1892, and was one of the first Astro-photographers (see Sky and Telescope April 2004). From Rutherfurd, the chain of craters starts and moves across the crater floor in north-northwestern direction. Clavius D, CB, C, N and J are visible on the image. To the southeast of Clavius lies Moretus (Rukl 73), a 114km wide crater with a central peak. To the southwest of Moretus we see the outline of Newton.

Clavius region on Lunar pic


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Image 4:

Detailed image of the Plato region

Now we move to the northern part of the Moon. The big crater just left of the images centre is Plato (Rukl 3), the eastern rim throwing beautiful shadows across the smooth crater floor. Plato has a few smaller craters spread across its floor, but on this image they cannot be seen, and I have not detected them visually tonight. To the southeast of Plato lie the Montes Alpes and the Vallis Alpes (Rukl 4), and to the southwest, Mons Pico, the Montes Teneriffe and Montes Recti (Rukl 11) are visible. These mountains throw long shadows across the moon tonight. About 20.35 UT the northernmost mountain of the Teneriffe group threw a shadow that went right pass the Montes Recti (this is not visible on this image). To the north of Plato lie Mare Frigoris (Rukl4), and W. Bond. In W. Bond you can see the smaller craters B and G.


Plato region of the Lunar

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Table with data on the images


Image

1

2

3

4

Resolution basic images

2272x1704

2272x1704

2272x1704

2272x1704

Date

29-02-2004

29-02-2004

29-02-2004

29-02-2004

Time

19.04 UT

20.07 UT

19.39 UT

19.52 UT

Exposure time

1/40s

1/15s

1/8s

1/4s

Camera aperture

f 2.6

f 2.8

f 4.9

f 5.1

Iso

100

100

100

100

Images stacked

15

9

10

4

Eyepiece

32mm Plossl

32 mm plossl

20mm Lanth.

20mm Lanth.

Optical zoom

no zoom

2X

4X

4X


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