Christmas Eve Moon

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3 years 5 months ago #109846 by lunartic_old
Christmas Eve Moon was created by lunartic_old
First of all, Merry Christmas to everyone.

I used my 120mm f/8 refractor operating at 100mm f/10.

Copernicus is the the standout feature visible on the moon tonight, Studying the region around Copernicus, it is easy to imagine the violence caused by the impactor.  There is rubble and debris scattered all around.  Looking at the exterior walls of Copernicus, I can understand why astronomers in times past believed that such craters were volcanic in origin, it does look like a caldera.

West of Copernicus, there is a feature consisting of a roughly circular collections of raised features, it looks like a rubble field surrounding a flat and featureless plain.  To me, it appears as if someone has taken an axe to the crater walls and hacked away until this broken feature remains.

The sunward facing walls of Bullialdus shows some beautiful terracing.  There is one prominent terrace that runs in a great arc with the ends disappearing into the shadows.  It is possible to believe that the terrace circumnavigates the entire interior of the crater.

At lower powers, the central peak of Bullialdus looks like a single object.  Increasing the magnification reveals that it is a pair of mounds with an obvious space separating them.  Did this start out as a single feature and then some seismic event cause it to split in two?

Two ghost craters lie to the north and the south of Bullialdus.  To the north sits Lubinizky.  The walls are very shallow, though the wall facing Bullialdus is lower than the rest, perhaps the original walls were of differing heights before the floor was flooded.
Kies lies to the south.  Like Lubinizky, Kies has an almost perfect set of low circular walls.  The wall to the north-west, facing Bullialdus has been breached.  There is a spur of straight raised terrain attached to the southern wall giving the crater the looks of a frying pan with a stubby handle.
With both craters having walls that are low or breached facing the larger, and younger, Bullialdus, was the impact of Bullialdus the cause of these breahces?

 At 18.13, the star 64 Ceti has disappeared on the dark side of the moon. It reappeared at 19.23.

In the western Mare Imbrium stand the lonely peaks of Mons La Hire.  They are a pair of outcroppings of rock.  The main part is a chevron shaped collection of three equal sized hills with a cone shaped shadow stretching across the Mare towards the darkness.  The second section is different as it appears as three separate hills in a line, starting at the smallest nearest to the other section, they run from smallest to biggest towards the terminator.

Dorsum Zirkel snakes across Imbrium to the north of Mons La Hire.  Between the two feature is Dorsum Heim, it is not as prominent as Zirkel, lying lower on the floor.  It creeps across the terminator into the night, it is high enough that the tops of Heim are catching the rays of the early morning sun on its heights causing a ribbon of light in the night.  Heim points in the direction of C Herschell, still on the nightside, it is high enough that it appears as a brilliant point of light in the dark.

At 19.31, 65 Ceti has dipped behind the moon, not long after 64 Ceti has re-emerged.  65 Ceti stepped out from behind the moon at 20.41.  Both stars disappeared and re-appeared in approximately the same locations.

The moon is accompanied by both Mars and Uranus.  Uranus showed the distinctive blue-green colour and higher powers showed the circular nature of the planet.  Mars showed a slightly gibbous phase.

A good way to kick off the Christmas season.


Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
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3 years 5 months ago #109849 by flt158
Replied by flt158 on topic Christmas Eve Moon
Hello, Paul and everyone.

I too noticed Copernicus on Christmas Eve. I do admire your description of what is west of Copernicus. If you have Antonin Rukl's Atlas of the Moon, Paul, those circular shapes seem to be on Maps 30 and 31.
I seem to have a peek at Bullialdus also. I have observed it, Kies and Lubiniezsky in the past.
You certainly have surprised me with the occultation of 64 Ceti. I din't see it disappear. But I did see Xi 1 Ceti or 65 Ceti being occulted at 19.32. That event was highlighted in John O'Neill's Sky High for 2020. 65 Ceti has a spectral class of G8; and I did observe that it did have a good yellow colour. (My observing eye seem to be working okay these nights.)

I do sincerely thank you for your lunar report, Paul. You do give great details which are easy to read and understand.

During January 2021 there are a few lunar occultations occurring.

Happy and safe Christmas to you and your family, Paul.

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3 years 5 months ago #109873 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic Christmas Eve Moon
Happy New Year to you Paul,

I just love reading your lunar reports. You create such vivid images through your writing. For example, the frying pan metaphor makes me want to check out that feature for myself. I also liked how you described the area close to Mare Imbrium.

You clearly had a wonderful night with an array of sights.

Great stuff all round!

Clear skies,

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