Home > Ephemeris Program, Observing, The Moon > 01/28/2021 – Ephemeris – Checking out the full Moon in binoculars

01/28/2021 – Ephemeris – Checking out the full Moon in binoculars

January 28, 2021

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Thursday, January 28th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 40 minutes, setting at 5:46, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:04. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 5:37 this evening.

The winter full moon rises very high in the sky. It follows a path across the sky at night that the Sun will take six months from now in July. On the full moon with binoculars or small telescope most craters are not very visible due to the lack of shadows. There are exceptions, those with dark or bright floors. The lunar seas are the large dark areas. These positions are for the early evening, as the Moon rises. Grimaldi can be seen as a dark ellipse near the lower left edge. Plato another dark ellipse is in the upper left. A bright spot with a darker circle around it on the lower right is the crater Tycho, which has several rays of ejecta laid out over long distances across the face of the Moon. Finally, there’s a bright spot on the left side of the Moon. That is the crater Aristarchus.

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


Annotated full Moon

Annotated full Moon. Major seas in upper case. Prominent craters in lower case. See text below. The image is rotated for 8 pm in late January. Credit Bob Moler.

Lunar seas

A – Mare Crisium (Sea of Crises)
B – Mare Fecunditatus (Sea of Fertility)
C – Mare Tranquillitatis (Sea of Tranquility)
D – Mare Serenitatis (Sea of Serenity)
E – Mare Imbrium (Sea of Showers)
F – Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms)
G – Mare Nubium (Sea of Clouds)
H – Mare Humorum (Sea of Moisture)
I – Mare Nectaris (Sea of Nectar)


a – Grimaldi
b – Plato
c – Tycho
d – Aristarchus
e – Copernicus (Not mentioned in the program due to time constraints)

  1. Mary Gribbin
    January 28, 2021 at 11:05 am

    This is great, Bob. I wish I had had it last night, as the sky was brilliantly clear here and the Moon was high and bright. Maybe tonight. It’s been a good season for the planets here this winter. Saw the Jupiter and Saturn conjunction, and Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury in the same FOV in my binoculars. I need to get out and look for Uranus also. Hope all is well, Bob. Thanks for the great posts here.

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