Friday, May 28, 2010

Fully Moonly

So last night was the full Moon.
I didn't bother posting images for there's nothing really to see.
Well okay, there's a lot to see, it's just that you can't really see anything.
If you know what I mean.
What I did do, is map out the major mare, or seas.
Back in the old days, when dudes like Galileo were using their newfangled telescopes, they though that the dark areas on the Moon were oceans or seas.
Sort of like how they thought the dark areas on Mars were canals.
That's another story.
Anyways, they named the dark areas stuff like Mare Tranquillitatis or Sea of Tranquillity.
The thing is, they had some notion back then that the Moon phases had something to do with the weather, so a waxing Moon, one that was turning full, meant calm weather, and a waning Moon meant bad weather.
Hence the Sea of Tranquillity is on the East side, and Mare Imbrium, the Sea of Rains is on the West:

The list of Mare and translations:
Mare Crisium Sea of Crises
Mare Fecunditatis Sea of Fertility
Mare Nectaris Sea of Nectar
Mare Serenitatis Sea of Serenity
Mare Vaporum Sea of Vapours
Mare Insularum Sea of Isles
Mare Cognitum The 'Known' Sea
Mare Nubium Sea of Clouds
Mare Humorum Sea of Moisture
Mare Frigoris Sea of Cold
Oceanus Procellarum Ocean of Storms

Interseting story on Mare Cognitum. Seems it was named in 1964 after the sucessful flight of the Moon probe Ranger 7. It crash landed somewhere around there.
The area around Mare Cognitum and Mare Insularum is where Apollo 12 and Apollo 14 landed.
If you've seen the movie Apollo 13, you can hear them talk about Fra Mauro which is ringed plain near the area where Apollo 14 landed.
As the Moon wanes, I'll try to get some close ups of the area.
No, you can't see anything.
I believe that using even the most powerful Earth bound telescopes, you can only resolve things around half a kilometer across.
It's mostly because of the Earth's atmosphere and stuff like diffraction and all kinds of other stuff.
Or something like that.
Anyways, the goal here is to create a mosaic of the Moon phases every two days or so. If you notice, the above image is in correct view(not mirror reversed) for it was taken straight through the camera.
It was shot at 1/1000 at F3.5. I boosted the zoom beyond the physical limit to around 35X digital.
I was too lazy to set up the telescope.
I also remembered(Doh!) that I can reverse the image via Photoshop, so no more bass ackwards pics.
I keep forgetting to add that you can also click on the pics for a larger image(Doh!again).
Later, I'll show you what I got so far.

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