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Posts Tagged ‘Copernicus’

06/11/2019 – Ephemeris – The crater Copernicus on the Moon

June 11, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, June 11th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 9:28, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:56. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 3:26 tomorrow morning.

Tonight, visible on the waxing gibbous Moon in binoculars or a small telescope the terminator, the sunrise line crosses the prominent crater Copernicus. This crater is nearly half way from the top to the bottom of the Moon. It is 56 miles (93 km) in diameter and 2 miles (3.5 k m) deep. The low Sun angle accentuates the depth of the crater. As large craters goes, Copernicus is rather new, being somewhat younger than 1.1 billion years old, a quarter of the Moon’s age. A dramatic image taken by the Lunar Orbiter spacecraft in 1966, in preparation for the Apollo lunar landings of an oblique view of the crater peeking over a crater wall was, at that time, dubbed the Picture of the Century”.

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

Addendum

Binocular Moon

The Moon tonight, June 11, 2019 showing the crater Copernicus. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

Closeup of Copernicus

Closeup of Copernicus with the small double crater Fauth south of it. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

Picture of the Century

Picture of the Century taken by the lunar Orbiter 2. Copernicus in an oblique photo from the south. Not the double crater Fauth at the bottom of the Image. Credit: NASA/Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP).

03/07/2017 – Ephemeris – The Moon tonight – the crater Copernicus

March 7, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, March 7th.  The Sun will rise at 7:08.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 6:38.  The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 4:39 tomorrow morning.

Looking at the Moon tonight the brightest feature on the left side of the moon is the big splash mark left by the impact that created the crater Copernicus.  The proper term is ejecta blanket that can be noticed by the naked eye or binoculars.  Although it is most visible during full moon, because it is really made of small craters that are most visible when we see them from the direction of the Sun, so they are not shadow filled and brighter than normal.    Copernicus is on the south edge of a great lava plain called Mare Imbrium, the Sea of Showers.  There’s a large crater on the north edge named after the Greek philosopher Plato.  At the upper left edge is the Laplace promontory the point of the Bay of Rainbows to be revealed tomorrow night.

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

Addendum

Moon

The Moon featuring Copernicus, Plato, Laplace Promontory and Mare Imbrium at 9 p.m., March 7, 2017. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

10/10/2016 – Ephemeris – Checking out the gibbous Moon tonight

October 10, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Indigenous Peoples Day*, Monday, October 10th. The Sun will rise at 7:52. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 13 minutes, setting at 7:06. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 2:20 tomorrow morning.

The Moon is beginning to dominate the evening sky. So it’s time to get out that telescope or powerful binoculars. The terminator which now is the sunrise line will be cutting through the Sea of Showers, also known as Mare Imbrium. Just south of it is the large crater Copernicus, 56 miles (93 km) in diameter. Copernicus, near the Moon’s equator hit a flat lunar sea, so it’s quite conspicuous. Another crater near the Moon’s south pole is conspicuous because it’s so big. It’s Clavius, with an arc of diminishing sized craters within. It is 136 miles (225 km) in diameter. In the book and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, it is the location of the US Moon Base, with the monolith in the distinctive crater Tycho north of it.

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

Addendum

The Moon tonight

The Moon at 9 p.m. October 10, 2016, with the landmarks described in the text above,

* Indigenous Peoples Day – This is officially the Columbus Day holiday in the United States, which commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus possibly on Plana Cay, which he named San Salvador.  While in his four voyages he visited some Caribbean islands, Central and South America.  He never made it to North America.  Columbus was appointed the Viceroy and Governor of the Indies.  He was accused of torture and other crimes.  And the treatment of the Indigenous peoples as been horrific then and ever since, so pardon them if they don’t celebrate Columbus Day.  This person of European ancestry tends to agree with them.

 

05/17/2016 – Ephemeris – Three heliocentrists memorialized on the Moon tonight

May 17, 2016 1 comment

Ephemeris for Tuesday, May 17th.  Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 9:07.   The Moon, half way from first quarter to full, will set at 4:50 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:10.

Tonight the gibbous Moon boasts the uncovering of three craters from lunar night whose namesakes were pioneers in putting forth the heliocentric theory.  That is that the Earth and the other planets revolved about the Sun.  Out the longest, and making the biggest splash is the crater Copernicus, named for the Polish cleric whose book On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres gave a new meaning to the word revolution, that is upheaval.  The crater Kepler is about two-thirds the way from Copernicus and the terminator, named after the astronomer who discovered that the plants orbit the Sun in elliptical paths.   Finally just catching sunlight is Aristarchus who in the 4th century BC first proposed a heliocentric solar system.

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

Addendum

Heliocentrists on the Moon

Three heliocentrists on the Moon at 10 p.m., May 17, 2016. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

08/15/2013 – Ephemeris – Plato and Copernicus (the craters)

August 15, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, August 15th.  The sun rises at 6:45.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 2 minutes, setting at 8:47.   The moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 1:43 tomorrow morning.

The moon now is slightly gibbous.  The term gibbous comes from Latin meaning having a hump or humpbacked.  In binoculars or a small telescope look to the upper left where the great Sea of Showers or Mare Imbrium is being revealed by the advance of sunrise.  The flat walled plain, actually a crater called Plato is off the top of Imbrium.  It is circular and 61 miles in diameter.  It looks oval to us because of the curvature of the moon.  Below or south at the other edge of Imbrium, just coming into sunlight is the marvelous crater Copernicus with it’s triple central peaks.  It’s 56 miles in diameter.  In a good enough telescope one can see that the crater walls appear terraced.  Copernicus is 2 miles deep.

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

Addendum

The moon a day after first quarter

The moon a day after first quarter on August 15, 2013. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

The image also includs the craters Tycho and Clavius craters in the southern highlands.

07/05/11 – Ephemeris – The ancient’s perfect moon

July 5, 2011 Comments off

Tuesday, July 5th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 26 minutes, setting at 9:30.   The moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 11:49 this evening.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 6:04.

As we look at the moon tonight we can see dark areas and bright areas.  To western philosophers and astronomers from Aristotle to Copernicus objects in the heavens were thought to be perfect and changeless and moved in uniform circular motion around the earth.   However the moon doesn’t appear perfect and spotless.  It has light and dark areas on it.  The supposed explanation for that was that it was a perfect mirror and reflected the earth.  It might make sense if you didn’t think about it too much.   For a very long time nobody did, at least nobody that made a difference until Copernicus came along.  With Copernicus, Galileo and his telescope, Tycho Brahe’s observations, Kepler and Newton, the heavens were  changed forever.

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