Archive

Archive for January 13, 2022

01/13/2022 – Ephemeris – The Moon, first target for a new telescope

January 13, 2022 Leave a comment

This is Ephemeris for Thursday, January 13th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 8 minutes, setting at 5:26, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:17. The Moon, halfway from first quarter to full, will set at 5:47 tomorrow morning.

The Moon is probably the first astronomical object owners of a new telescope look at. The first discovery is that it’s not that easy to find. Most telescopes produce an upside down or a mirror reversed image, so steering the telescope may take a bit of getting used to. The Moon is at its gibbous phase tonight, so it’s quite bright, and a lot of it doesn’t have much contrast except for the large dark gray areas, called seas. There’s no water in them, of course, but they are huge lava basins caused by large asteroid impacts in the early days of the Moon’s history. The best detail on the Moon is near the terminator, in the time before full moon, it is the sunrise line. There the shadows are longest, and the detail of craters are best seen.

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

Virtual Moon Atlas showing Moon for tonight

This is a great guide to the Moon called Virtual Moon Atlas for a computer, showing the Moon for any date and time. It’s a free app which runs natively on Windows, but also can run with emulators on Linux and macOS. I find it to be an amazing program. Check it out under Free Astronomical Software on the right of this page.

The other free app I use is Stellarium (See the right column). Zoom in enough, so the Moon fills the frame, and It will show labels to some of its features if clicked on.