Friday, February 21, 2014

This One Is For Moon Lovers (Lunatics) Like Me

Hey Space Placers!

Here is an excellent article on the Moon from the good folks at Sky and Telescope.

G. Redfern
Moon With Earthshine

I love looking at the Moon with my eyes and my telescope or ANY telescope for that matter. I also have rocks from the Moon that I can touch and study.

Just looking at the Moon tells us much about its history. The two colors - white and gray - that we see are the Moon's original crust (white) and impact basins (gray). The ancients thought the gray areas were bodies of water hence the water associated names used to name the impact basins -  mare (sea), lacus (lake), oceanus (ocean), palus (swamp), sinus (bay)

The gray areas are in fact seas of solidified lava created when the Moon was repeatedly hit by either a comet or an asteroid billions of years ago when the Moon had a molten core. Liquid lava oozed out into these great impact basin filling them and solidifying.

The ancients thought the Moon to be a perfect sphere but Galileo's observations with his telescope showed craters and mountains and the great gray areas. A view with a modern telescope or even a good pair of binoculars shows the largest craters some with rays and a lot of wonderful detail.

You owe it to yourself to look at and ponder our Moon. Check out the Lunar Picture of the Day (LPOD) for a daily fix of Moon pics - I do.

Sky Guy is a Lunatic in VA

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