Archive for January 26, 2018

01/26/2018 – Ephemeris – The Moon tonight: The Bay of Rainbows

January 26, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, January 26th. The Sun will rise at 8:08. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 34 minutes, setting at 5:43. The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 3:59 tomorrow morning.

A look at the Moon tonight will reveal that the sunrise line, or terminator has almost completely revealed the large sea of Showers or Mare Imbrium to the upper left of center of the gibbous disk. At the extreme upper left straddling the terminator is one of my favorite features, the Bay of Rainbows or Sinus Iridium. It’s a colorful name for something that’s as gray as the rest of the Moon. It looks like a bay off of Imbrium, and has an arch like a rainbow. It’s arch is the Jura Mountains, which jut into Mare Imbrium at Cape Heraclide, just catching sunlight, and Cape Laplace farther into morning. What’s cool is catching it as the sunlight is hitting the mountains while the convex floor, following the Moon’s curvature is only partially illuminated.

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


The Moon with Sinus Iridium

The Moon at 8 p.m. January 26, 2018 highlighting Sinus Iridium. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

LRO data

Sinus Iridium photographed by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter as texture mapped on the globe of the Virtual Moon Atlas.