Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Final, Copernicus and Tycho

According the kind folks at Sky and Telescope(see link at right), it's three days past the first quarter. That is, the Moon is waxing, not poetic, but just about to go full, which should be in around four days.
I ordered a neutral density filter(ND) to help with the picture once that happens, I just hope it gets here in time.
Okay, tonight's Moon shot:

Don't forget that these pictures are mirror reversed os fi uoy era gnikool edistuo, it will be different.
Now we can see two major craters, Copernicus and Tycho with their large ejecta fields. In the pictures, Copernicus is in the middle right and Tycho is on the bottom. You can see the lighter areas around the impact craters.
Tycho is most brilliant when the Moon is full and you can see the rays. It is 85km across and almost 5km deep:

Copernicus(93km wide and almost 4km deep) is obvious for it sits in Mare Ibrium and the rays are quite prominent:

In case you are really lost, here I labeled some stuff:

The craters are a reminder that the Moon does serve a purpose. It attracts rogue rocks floating around there in space before they get a chance to impact Earth. Most of them impact the dark side, but a couple of hundred years ago(I'm thinking like 15th-16th century, I forget), one impacted right on the edge of the light and dark side and those in the know think it was observed.
There's another cool crater off the side of Copernicus called Kepler, but it will be a couple of days until it's visible.
Copernicus and Kepler were among the first to believe in the heliocentric theory saying the planets revolved around the sun. Tycho Brahe had an observatory on an island and lost his nose and wore a gold mask or something, Kepler studied under him. He was too embarrassed to excuse himself during dinner and he died from a urinary infection.
Tycho Brahe, not Kepler.
Anyways, hopefully my filter will get in before the Moon goes full.
Oh and tonight's images were taken again at around 37X with a shutter speed of 1/200-1/300 at F2.7.
Tonights lunar factoid:
Lemme see, okay, the Moon is in synchronous orbit with Earth which is why we only see one side. One Moon orbit is equal to one rotation on it's axis which explains this phenomena.
Have fun figuring that one out.

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