The Sun Solar System: the Moon Planets observing logs



March 28th, 2004: Lunar observing log

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.Most 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.

I started the observing session at 18.30 UT. Venus was visible high in the southwest and Saturn was only 4 degrees south of the moon. At 18.45 I turned my telescope at the moon. The seeing was very steady, and would stay like this for almost two hours. There was virtually no turbulence in the air. The overall image of the 7-day-old moon was very clear.

Lunar pic

Image 1: overview of the 7-day-old moon



In the north, between Mare Frigorum and Mare Serenitatis, two big craters caught my eye: Aristoteles (Rukl 5) and Eudoxes (Rukl 13). South of Eudoxus the Montes Caucasus (Rukl 13) and the Montes Apenninus (Rukl 22) could be seen near the terminator. To the west of the two craters the Vallis Alpes (Rukl 12) was already visible. In Mare Imbrium, I detected three craters, Cassini, Aristillus and Autolycus (Rukl12). At the terminator, to the west of Cassini, Mons Piton could be seen with its eastern flank lit by the Sun.

As you may notice in image 2 and 3, there are some interesting features between the Montes Apenninus and Autolycus (Rukl 22). Mons Hadley is throwing a long shadow over Palus Putredinis. Between Promontorium Fresnel and Autolycus lie two mountains. One of the Rimae Fresnel is visible between the Promontorium and the two mountains. On the southern edge of Palus Putredinis I noticed a semi-circular chain of features, probably mountains, the where lit by the sun. It looked like a row of “teeth”. I cannot identify it with the Rukl, but you can see it very clearly on page 38, image C, of the Photographic Atlas of the Moon by Chong, Lim and Ang. In the Montes Apenninus, Conon, Aratus and Galen are clearly visible. In Cassini, craters A and B where already visible at 62.5x. At higher magnifications, just north of Cassini, M and W could be detected.


Moon alps

Image 2: Northern half of 7-day-old moon



Moon alps

Image 3: Montes Caucasus and Montes Apenninus



On the southern half of the moon, another interesting feature could be seen. It was a curved chain of craters (see images 4 and 5) all with a sort of “central peak” lit by the sun. It started at the big crater (136 KM diameter) Albategnius (Rukl 44). From there the chains goes south-southwest, over Vogel, Argelander and Airy (Rukl 56). Then it continues over Donati, Faye, Delaunay, ending at La Caille (Rukl 55). To the southeast of La Caille you can see Blanchinus, Werner and Aliacensis. A little more to the south you see Walter (Rukl 65) already showing some features on its floor.


Lunar pic

Image 4: Southern half 7-day-old moon



Moon craters

Image 5: Detail of Southern half 7-day-old moon
(chain of seven craters)



Around 21.00 UT I observed Rima Hyginus (Rukl 34), with the 10km wide Crater Hyginus in the middle of the Rima. After that I had a look at Rimae Triesnecker (Rukl 33 + 34). I ended my observing session with a partially lit floor of Ptolomaeus (Rukl 44) at 21.30 UT. The seeing deteriorated very quickly in the last hour, but it was a very rewarding night of lunar observing.

This moon can keep you busy for a lifetime!



Table with data on the images

Image

1

2

3

4

5

Resolution basic images

2272x1704

2272x1704

2272x1704

2272x1704

2272x1704

Date

28-03-2004

28-03-2004

28-03-2004

28-03-2004

28-03-2004

Time

18.54 UT

19.14 UT

19.50 UT

19.10 UT

20.03 UT

Exposure time

1/125s

1/15s

1/8s

1/15s

1/2s

Camera aperture

f 2.6

f 2.8

f 4.4

f 5.1

f 5.1

Iso

100

100

100

100

100

Images stacked

15

6

6

13

10

Eyepiece

25mm Lanth.

25mm Lanth.

20mm Lanth.

20mm Lanth.

15mm Lanth.

Optical zoom

no zoom

2X

3X

3X

2X





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