Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Copernicus crater’

04/26/2021 – Ephemeris – There’s a full supermoon tonight

April 26, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Monday, April 26th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 2 minutes, setting at 8:41, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:38. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 8:19 this evening.

The full moon tonight is the full Pink Moon, and a supermoon. As down as I am about full moons due to the fact that they light up the sky and flood out the dimmer objects in the sky, I once in a while stop and view it. The time of the full moon is 11:31 tonight, so when it rises tonight we will be looking at the moon from very nearly the direction of the Sun, so there will be few shadows to be had. The crater Tycho is near the bottom or south end of the moon and has long rays of tiny ejecta craters. The full moon is the best time to see these rays, which are easily visible in binoculars, through which Tycho itself looks like a bright dot. In telescopes Tycho looks like a small bright crater with a dark ring around it. The full moon is super bright. It’s daytime over there.

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

Addendum

High contrast full Moow
The full Moon 7 hours before it was officially full. The contrast was greatly enhanced to bring out Tycho’s ray system. The crater Tycho is at the south part of the Moon and appears bright with a dark ring around it. Credit Bob Moler.
Tycho and Kepler
Tycho and Kepler. Artist for Tycho: Eduard Ender (1822-1883). Artist for Kepler, unknown. Source: Wikipedia

Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler are inexorably linked in astronomical history. Tycho was famously stingy with the results of his observations. It was only after his death that Kepler was able to have access to them. Mars was the planet that was hardest to model in both the Ptolemaic geocentric and Copernican heliocentric universes, since both assumed the planetary orbits were circular. So both resorted to epicycles in an attempt to tweak their models in an attempt to fit with observational reality.

Both Tycho and Kepler have craters named for them on the Moon. Tycho gets a splashy crater on the southern part of the Moon. Kepler, however, gets a small crater on the plains of Oceanus Procellarum west of the crater Copernicus on the left side of the Moon, as we see it

04/02/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look at the Moon tonight

April 2, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Thursday, April 2nd. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 51 minutes, setting at 8:12, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:18. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 5:09 tomorrow morning.

Tonight’s gibbous Moon is a bright fixture in the evening sky it’s in the constellation of Cancer the crab which its brightness obliterates, between the stars Castor and Pollux of Gemini on the right and Regulus of Leo on the left. The Beehive star cluster in Cancer can be spotted in binoculars to the left of the Moon by about 7 to 8 of its diameters. On the Moon itself are the gray, so-called seas and two spectacular craters near the terminator. The first is near the bottom limb of the Moon, the very large crater Clavius with an interesting arc of small craters of decreasing size within. The other remarkable crater is Copernicus about half way up and left, near the terminator, the Moon’s sunrise line.

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

Addendum

Moon and Beehive Star Cluster

The Moon and Beehive Star Cluster at 10 p.m. tonight April 2, 2020. If you are not in the eastern daylight time the Moon will be in a different position if you are in a different time zone.

Telescopic Moon

The Mon as it might appear in a low power telescope tonight at 10 p.m. April 2, 2020. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas (software).

01/25/2018 – Ephemeris – The Moon tonight: Copernicus on the terminator

January 25, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, January 25th. The Sun will rise at 8:09. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 32 minutes, setting at 5:41. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 2:48 tomorrow morning.

Let’s take a look at our slightly gibbous moon, just a day past first quarter with binoculars or a small telescope. The terminator, in this case the sunrise line will appear to cross the crater Copernicus to the right of the Moon’s center if you’re viewing it right side up. To the North across the Sea of Showers, or Mare Imbrium is the large flat floored crater Plato. South of Copernicus is a recently named sea, Mare Cognitum, the Known Sea, after the first successful close photography by the Ranger 7 spacecraft in 1964. South of the is Mare Nubium, the Sea of Clouds. South of that are the lunar highlands with the stark crater Tycho and the huge crater Clavius with an arc of craters of decreasing size within it.

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

Addendum

The Moon tonight

The waxing gibbous Moon tonight at 8 p.m., January 25, 2018. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

The crater Copernicus. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

The crater Copernicus. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

Lunar highlands

The Lunar highlands near the crater Tycho showing a surface saturated with craters. Credit: Virtual Moon Atlas with the texture from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The lunar phase was omitted.

Clavius

Clavius as photographed by one of the Lunar Orbiter spacecraft in the 1960s From Digital Lunar Orbital Photographic Atlas. Credit Jeff Gillis, Lunar and Planetary Institute.

04/27/2015 – Ephemeris – Two large craters on the Moon for binoculars or a small telescope

April 27, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, April 27th.  Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 3 minutes, setting at 8:42.   The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 4:04 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:37.

After taking a look, last week, at some early results from the two spacecraft approaching dwarf planets now, Dawn at Ceres and New Horizons nearing Pluto, let’s get back to our sky and our Moon.  Time to get out that telescope or powerful binoculars.  The terminator which now is the sunrise line will be cutting through the middle of the crater Copernicus at 10 in the evening.  Copernicus, near the Moon’s equator hit a flat lunar sea, so it’s quite conspicuous.  Another crater near the Moon’s southern pole is conspicuous because it’s so big.  It’s Clavius, with an arc of diminishing sized craters within.  It will be completely in sunlight being uncovered slowly now by the terminator.

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

Addendum

Moon

The Moon at 10 p.m. April 27, 2015 EDT (2:00 UT, April 28). Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

10/02/2014 – Ephemeris – The gibbous Moon tonight

October 2, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, October 2nd.  The sun will rise at 7:41.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 39 minutes, setting at 7:21.   The moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 1:50 tomorrow morning.

Tonight the moon will be featuring some of my favorite lunar landmarks, and if you spend any time looking at the moon with a small telescope, they become yours.  The place to look is at the terminator, the sunrise line on the moon.  In the north not far from the terminator is the walled plain called Plato.  A bit farther away is a gash in the lunar Alps mountains caller the Alpine Valley.  Near the center of the terminator and split by it is the fabulous  crater Copernicus with a triple central peak which should poke into sunlight.  Near the south pole is the large crater Clavius with an arc of decreasingly smaller craterlets on its floor.  A bit north of that is the crater Tycho, which is more prominent when the moon is full than it is now.

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

Addendum

Gibbous Moon

The gibbous Moon one day after first quarter at 9 p.m. October 2, 2014. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

03/10/2014 – Ephemeris – Observing the Moon tonight and the crater Copernicus

March 10, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, March 10th.  The sun will rise at 8:03.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 38 minutes, setting at 7:42.   The moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 5:04 tomorrow morning.

The moon has certainly changed appearance since  I last talked about it last Thursday.  It’s gone from a fat crescent to its gibbous phase.  Gibbous by the way means hump-backed.  Near the sunrise terminator can be seen the great crater Copernicus on the left side of the moon.   This crater is 56 miles in diameter and the crater floor is two miles below the top of the crater rim.  It has a three central peaks and the interior of the crater walls have slumped causing terracing.  All these are easily seen with a small telescope.  The crater has been dated to less than a billion years old, and it has a spray of ejecta around it that is roughly circular and can best be seen at full moon when the crater is washed out due to lack of shadows.

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

Addendum

Moon

The Moon at 10 p.m. on March 10,2014 pointing out the crater Copernicus. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

Copernicus

Copernicus from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

06/17/2013 – Ephemeris – The crater named Copernicus

June 17, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, June 17th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 33 minutes, setting at 9:30.   The moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 2:15 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 5:56.

Let’s take a look at the moon tonight.  The sun will have risen on one of the great craters  Copernicus.  It’s near the terminator, the sunrise line on the moon on the left, close to half way from north to south.  Copernicus was named for the Polish astronomer who put forth the heliocentric solar system in the 16th century.  The crater is 56 miles in diameter with a vaguely hexagonal form and two miles deep.  It has terraced walls and three central peaks.  It may look deeper than that due to the low sun angle exaggerating its depth. The asteroid that hit the moon to create the crater hit the moon’s smooth lava plains called seas, probably less that 1.1 billion years ago.  Many great photographs of it have been taken.

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

Crater Coppernicus

The Crater Copernicus near the moon’s terminator. Created using the Virtual Moon Atlas.

09/24/2012 – Ephemeris – The lunar crater Copernicus

September 24, 2012 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, September 24th.  The sun will rise at 7:32.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 2 minutes, setting at 7:35.   The moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 2:44 tomorrow morning.

Since the International Observe the Moon Night was cloudy in our area if its clear tonight there are still great views of the moon.  You’re on your own, so dig out those binoculars and dust off that telescope for a great view of the moon.  The sun will have risen on one of the great craters  Copernicus.  It’s near the terminator, the sunrise line on the moon on the left, close to half way from north to south.  Copernicus was named for the Polish astronomer who put forth the heliocentric solar system in the 16th century.  The crater is 56 miles in diameter with a vaguely hexagonal form and two miles deep.  It has terraced walls and three central peaks.  It may look deeper than that due to the low sun angle exaggerating its depth.

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

Addendum

The moon on showing Copernicus and other large craters on the terminator. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

The moon on showing Copernicus and other large craters on the terminator. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

The crater Copernicus.  Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

The crater Copernicus. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

05/29/2012 – Ephemeris – The moon tonight

May 29, 2012 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, May 29th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 16 minutes, setting at 9:18.   The moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 2:38 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 6:01.

The moon tonight is a wonderful sight for binoculars or a small telescope.  There are some very nice craters now revealed near the terminator, the line between day and night on the moon.  The terminator in the two weeks between new and full is the sunrise line on the moon.  From the top or north on the moon is the flat floored crater Plato Then about midway down the moon and right on the terminator is the beautiful crater Copernicus.  Then to the south end of the moon is the bright and crisp crater Tycho.  Its splash marks called rays will be better revealed at full moon.  At the bottom of the moon, just coming into light is the huge crater Clavius.  A telescope will reveal smaller craters within.

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

Addendum

The moon on 5/29/2012 showing large craters on the terminator. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

The moon on 5/29/2012 showing large craters on the terminator. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.