Home > Ephemeris Program, Observing, The Moon > 12/14/2021 – Ephemeris – The Moon tonight will reveal more than you think

12/14/2021 – Ephemeris – The Moon tonight will reveal more than you think

December 14, 2021

This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, December 14th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 5:02, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:13. The Moon, halfway from first quarter to full, will set at 4:45 tomorrow morning.

The gibbous Moon tonight is revealing a bit more of itself. In binoculars the dark oval spot visible on the Moon’s right side is the Sea of Crises or Mare Crisium a small dark lava plain. The Moon’s rotation is quite uniform, however its orbit isn’t circular, so the Moon’s face seems to rock a bit back and forth over the month. It’s an effect called libration. And one way to track that is to note how close the Sea of Crises is to the edge of the Moon. Right now that sea is as far from the Moon’s right edge or limb as it gets, and reveals two other seas in the edge: Mare Marginis, the Border Sea, and Mare Smythi, Smith’s Sea.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EST, UT – 5 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Moon showing libration

The Moon showing Maria Marginis and Smythi past Mare Crisium at 9 pm tonight, December 14, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Moon as seen if over Mare Marginis

The Moon, seen as if flying over the border area of what we could see from the Earth. To the left is the Moon’s near side. To the right is the far side to the terminator or sunset line. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

Both the Stellarium and Virtual Moon Atlas apps are free. Links to them are elsewhere on this page.

%d bloggers like this: