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Saturday, October 28, 2017

 

It's International Observe the Moon Night! (October 28, 2017)

First Quarter Moon as seen  from Adelaide looking Northwest at 21:00 ACDST, similar views will be seen for other parts of Australia at the equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.

Saturday 28 October is  International Observe the Moon Night. An international initiative to get people out and observe our beautiful nearest neighbour. You don't need much, just your unaided eyes, but even binoculars or a small telescope will greatly aid your appreciation of our Moon.

This weekend the First quarte Moon is above the North-west horizon forming a triangle with the planet Saturn and the bright star Altair. Last quarter is a good phase as the terminator, the light dark boundary on the Moons surface, is close to may interesting craters that are at their best at this sun angle. 

A telescopic simulation of the appearance of the Moon at 21:00 ACST, several prominent craters are visible, particularly prominent are the trio of Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus and Alpertragus (near the centre on the image here). Click to embiggen.

Even with modest binocular craters can be seen along the Moons terminator. A small telescope reveals a welath of detail, and finding an focussing on the Moon is so much earier than any other class of astronomical object.

Even if you don't have a telescope, just go out and look the the north-west, the view will be lovely. Around 21:00 you may even see an international space station pass

If you don't have a telescope, a local astronomical club may be having an  International Observe the Moon Night near you. Check out this map for locations.

So if the sky is clear, go out and have a look!


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