Home > Observing, The Moon > 11/19/2020 – Ephemeris – Looking at the crescent Moon tonight

11/19/2020 – Ephemeris – Looking at the crescent Moon tonight

November 19, 2020

This is Ephemeris for Thursday, November 19th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 24 minutes, setting at 5:10, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:47. The Moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 9:31 this evening.

Tonight the Moon shows two seas. Easiest to spot is Mare Crisium or the Sea of Crises. It is a large gray basin near the edge. It is easily spotted 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 620 kilometers). 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 on the sea telescopes show wrinkle ridges that appear where successive lava flows have stopped and solidified.

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


Crescent Moon-Mare Crisium

Crescent Moon with pointer to Mare Crisium at 8 pm tonight, November 19, 2020.

Mare Crisius via LRO

Mare Crisium from overhead with Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The vertical lines are due to the north-south scans by the polar orbiting satellite. Credit: NASA/LRO/Virtual Moon Atlas.

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