03/11/2016 – Ephemeris – The lunar Sea of Crises
Ephemeris for Friday, March 11th. The Sun will rise at 7:01. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 42 minutes, setting at 6:44. The Moon, 3 days past new, will set at 10:14 this evening.
Tonight the Moon shows one remarkable sea: Mare Crisium or the Sea of Crises. It is a large gray basin. The largest feature visible in binoculars. Because it’s near the Moon’s limb or edge it is foreshortened into an ellipse, with the long axis running north and south. In actuality it is elliptical with the long axis east and west. It looks funny on a geologic map of the whole moon or a Moon globe. Its dimensions are 345 by 375 miles (570 by 620km). It’s really a crater as are all seas whose impact asteroid reached down to the Moon’s magma and caused lava to well up to produce the flat floor. When the sunlight is low as it is now wrinkle ridges will appear showing where successive lava flows have stopped and solidified.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.