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Bringing the Universe to Your Classroom!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Your New Telescope's First Targets: The Moon and More

The Moon is one celestial object that never fails to impress in even the most humble scope. It’s our nearest neighbor in space - big, bright, starkly bleak, and just a quarter million miles away. An amateur telescope and a good Moon map can keep you busy forever.

"Here are three crucial tips for getting started," advises Alan MacRobert, a senior editor at Sky & Telescope magazine.

See if you can identify these noteworthy features around the time of full Moon. Some of the most prominent craters display bright rays: splashes of impact debris. Image by Bob King.
See if you can identify these noteworthy features around the time of full Moon. Some of the most prominent craters display bright rays: splashes of impact debris. Image by Bob King.

The Moon is well-placed in the evening sky this week (December 25–31, 2017) as it waxes from first-quarter to gibbous toward full. It's full on the night of January 1st. But full Moon is actually the worst time for telescopic Moon viewing, because its full, directly sunlit face lacks the shadows that cast mountains and craters into sharp relief. The waxing and waning phases are better, especially for features along the terminator - the lunar sunrise or sunset line. Here you'll see lunar features standing out at their best. The terminator moves quite a bit from night to night, revealing new landscapes when the Moon is waxing and covering them when waning.

Read the full Article at  http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/what-to-see-with-your-new-telescope-3/

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