Greetings fellow astrophiles!
In preparation for upcoming 2013 lecture and observing sessions, we have put together instructional brochures to help introduce the Night Sky to attendees. The fifth of these, entitled “A Guide For Lunar Observing,” combines facts and figures about our nearest natural satellite with a map of the largest features on its “near side,” all easily visible in low-power binoculars. This brochure will be available at our combined lecture/observing sessions, but feel free to bring your own paper copy (or the PDF on a tablet – but have red acetate ready!).
NOTE: These brochures are made better by your input. If you find a problem, have a question, or have a suggestion (bearing in mind these are being kept to one two-sided piece of paper), please contact CNYO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Guide For Lunar Observing
Some Interesting Facts About The Moon
620 millions years ago, the day was 21.9 hours long and one year was 400 days!
Phases Of The Moon
With respect to a fixed spot over the Earth’s surface, the Moon completes one orbit in a
sidereal month – 27 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes.
The Blue Moon (Not Really Blue)
Since the synodic cycle of the Moon (FM to FM) is 29.5 days, a FM at the very beginning of a month will result in a FM at the end of same month.
The Man In The Moon & Other Features
The surface of the Moon shows evidence of the violent nature of the early Solar System.
The Moon – Not Just A Pretty Face!
On the side of Earth nearest the Moon, lunar gravity is strongest, pulling the water up slightly (“sublunar” high tide).
Can I See The American Flag?
There is lots of equipment left on the Moon from manned and unmanned missions, but Earth-based and many space-based telescopes do not have the resolving power to see any of it.
The Dark Side Of The Moon
The Moon’s orbital period and rotation period are the same – as it makes one trip around the Earth, it completes one spin on its axis – this is called “Tidal Lock,” and is why we only ever see one side from Earth.