Cycling on the Moon

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nigeljoslin
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Cycling on the Moon

Post by nigeljoslin »

Sounds like the silly season, but it’s a serious observation. Thanks to my being tempted to reach for the eyepiece case yesterday evening for some rare May astronomy at around 20:45 BST by the sight of an elevated, bright, contrasty half-moon.

Conditions were surprisingly stable in the warm, rain-humidified air, with no atmospheric rippling visible through the 17mm Orion Stratus (97x).
One crater stood out from all the others being perfectly aligned for dazzling sun reflection from one of its walls, a phenomenon I’ve often noticed. I wasn’t able to identify the crater; it was one of the quite small ones.

I centred the big reflector on the lunar north region by the Sea of Serenity. More specifically, two craters that stood out near the terminator, Eudoxus and Aristoteles. And then I gave it 275x, whereupon bright and multi-layered terracing was visible on one side of both craters, a sight to drink in for a while.

These craters make an interesting pair, especially as Aristoteles has another crater touching its rim. But what is really interesting is that if you tilt the imagination through ninety degrees while taking in the higher mountains close by, you have a cyclist riding his bike with a bundle on the back. And then – would you believe it? – a short distance towards the lunar limb is a sizeable crater, Posidonius, that has a spire in its centre and a small crater touching its rim, together forming a feature strangely Penny-Farthing-like!

I’m not making this up, honestly! Well, thinking about it, I suppose I am, it being my imagination...but it's what it looks like, anyway.

The weather conditions ended my session shortly after. Not rain but excessive humidity. The view through the Stratus kept misting up as I put my eye to it, and then I suddenly noticed that the telescope body was all dewy.

After I’d wheeled the telescope back into the enclosure, I walked back into the house and noticed all the windows along the front (south-facing) side of it had misted up on the outside.

A nice evening in tropical south-west Scotland!

Happy observing, Nigel
Last edited by nigeljoslin on Thu May 16, 2024 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Skywatcher 350P f4.65, Skywatcher StarTravel 102 f5, Adler Optik 9x63 binoculars
RMSteele
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Location: New Farnley, Leeds lat 53.8N long 1.6W
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Re: Cycling on the Moon

Post by RMSteele »

What a charming description of the lunar scene. It makes a lovely read, far more engaging than a flat description. The seeing was exceptionally good here yesterday morning when I noticed my projected Sun image was really steady - a very rare occurrence. I think the wind was southerly then. Best wishes, Bob
nigeljoslin
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Location: Galloway, SW Scotland
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Re: Cycling on the Moon

Post by nigeljoslin »

Thanks, Bob. Yes, it was a southerly air flow when I was observing.

Must be a region of warm, steady air coming up from tropical regions.
Skywatcher 350P f4.65, Skywatcher StarTravel 102 f5, Adler Optik 9x63 binoculars
jeff.stevens
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Re: Cycling on the Moon

Post by jeff.stevens »

Lovely post, Nigel. Despite the light nights, I love observing at this time of year. It's a great opportunity to do some lunar observing without resorting to arctic kit.

Keep an eye out for those noctilucent clouds too, it shouldn't be much longer before they make an appearance (maybe?).

Best wishes, Jeff.
nigeljoslin
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Re: Cycling on the Moon

Post by nigeljoslin »

Yes, it was nice observing in just a sweatshirt on my upper half, for a change.

Will keep an eye to the clouds - cheers, Nigel
Skywatcher 350P f4.65, Skywatcher StarTravel 102 f5, Adler Optik 9x63 binoculars
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