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06/09/2014 – Ephemeris – The brightest spot on the moon

June 9, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, June 9th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 28 minutes, setting at 9:26.   The moon, half way from first quarter to full, will set at 4:09 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 5:57.

For all you Moon lovers out there we have a chance to study with telescopes the brightest spot on the Moon.  It is at the upper left corner of the Moon and can easily be seen in binoculars.  It’s the crater Aristarchus.  However a telescope is what’s needed to see the crater in detail.  Like the crater Alphonsus we looked at last Thursday, occasional hazes have been seen in this crater.  Aristarchus isn’t really large, only 24 miles (40 km) in diameter.  It is a young crater, which is why it’s bright.  The asteroid that hit these penetrated the dark gray regolith into the lighter bedrock.  Young in this case is somewhere younger than 1.1 billion years old.  There’s an interesting valley near it called Schroter’s Valley.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Aristarchus

The crater Aristarchus at 11 p.m., June 9, 2014. It will brighten as we move to full moon. Created using Stellarium.

Aristarchus close up

The crater Aristarchus. Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute.

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