Monday, November 14, 2016

Supermoon

I know even less about astronomy than I do about geology.  But here and there, I pick up tidbits of information, reading an article in National Geographic, flipping through a book, or, quite honestly just using Google at times!

Last night was a "Supermoon," occurring as the full moon coincided with the closest the moon has been to earth since 1948.  (Yup, I Googled that.  Not very scientific of me!)  Basically, the supermoon gave me a chance to try out some lunar photography (new to me) and check out some maps of the surface of the moon.  At least I used a book for that!


In the photo above, the lunar crater Tycho can be seen in the lower right.  The darker areas are "seas," called maria.  The largest sea on the Moon is on the western (left) half, called Oceanus Procellarum.  The two most obvious craters within this area are Copernicus, which is slightly larger, and Kepler, to the lower left of Copernicus.  The round, dark sea in the upper center portion of this photo is Mare Serenitatis; below it to the right is Mare Tranquillitatis. 

The moon is an obvious target for the neophyte astronomer; no telescope is necessary, as even a pair of binoculars will reveal many details of the moon's surface.  Give it a look, and see if you can identify a few lunar landscape features. 

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