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Posts Tagged ‘Sea of Serenity’

12/03/2019 – Ephemeris – The Moon tonight

December 3, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, December 3rd. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 1 minute, setting at 5:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:02. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at midnight.

The Moon tonight is a few hours before being at first quarter, when the Moon appears exactly half illuminated. In viewing the Moon with a pair of binoculars or a telescope the observer will notice that the best detail is seen near the terminator, the sunrise line, that’s cutting the Moon in half. That’s where the shadows are longest. The large gray feature at the upper right of the Moon is Mare Serenitatis, which translates to the Sea of Serenity. To me it appears to look like a scallop shell. Serenitatis like most other seas is roughly circular and is actually a crater, the result of an impact of a large asteroid during what is called the late heavy bombardment that happened about 4 billion years ago.

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

Addendum

Binocular Moon

The moon as will appear tonight at 8 p.m. December 3, 2019 EST. Moon image credit NASA Scientific Visualization Studio.

Images of the moon’s phase for the entire year are available from https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4442.

Scallop shell

Image of a scallop shell rotated to match the Sea of Serenity. Credit Wikipedia user Kevmin. (Creative Commons)

09/17/2018 – Ephemeris – The Moon Tonight and the Jade Rabbit

September 17, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, September 17th. The Sun will rise at 7:24. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 25 minutes, setting at 7:49. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 1:03 tomorrow morning.

Now is a good time to point that small telescope or binoculars toward the Moon. The gray seas on the right side of the moon depict the neck, head and ears of the Jade Rabbit. It’s curled up body is on the night side of the Moon to the left. The rabbit is upside down as we see him with the naked eye or binoculars. The Sea of Serenity is the upper part of his body, the head is the Sea of Tranquility. A bay south of Tranquility and the Sea of Nectar is one ear and the Sea of Fertility is the other ear. The Jade Rabbit is related to the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival which occurs at our Harvest Moon. It’s on September 24th this year. Another amateur astronomer and myself brought telescopes to the local festival last year to view the Jade Rabbit on the Moon.

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

Addendum

The Moon tonight
The Moon tonight, September 17, 208 at 9 p.m., with the head of the Jade Rabbit. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas
The Jade Rabbit
The Jade Rabbit on the Moon. The more complete title is Jade Rabbit pounding medicine (in the mortar at his feet.  From Wikipedia source is Zeimus.

03/23/2018 – Ephemeris – After a crazy week sail on the Sea of Serenity

March 23, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, March 23rd. The Sun will rise at 7:40. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 18 minutes, setting at 7:59. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 2:53 tomorrow morning.

This evening the Moon will be at nearly first quarter and the terminator will be at the edge of the Sea of Serenity or Mare Serenitatis, with the morning Sun shining on its ramparts. Through binoculars or the naked eye the scallop shell shaped sea will be visible at the upper right part of the moon, the man in the moon’s left eye as he is facing us. In telescopes the moon will be inverted and even also reversed, so Serenity could appear in any other quadrant depending on what your telescope does to the image. There are two large craters above or north of Serenity if looking at them with a non-inverting telescope. The nearest to Serenity is Eudoxus, and the farther one is Aristoteles, named after Aristotle.

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

Addendum

Nearly first quarter Moon

Tonight’s Moon with the Sea of Serenity and two isolated large craters. 9 p.m., March 23, 2018. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

Scallop shell

Image of a scallop shell rotated to match the Sea of Serenity. Credit Wikipedia user Kevmin. (Creative Commons)

01/23/2018 – Ephemeris – The Moon tonight: the Sea of Tranquility and a crater named for Julius Caesar

January 23, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, January 23rd. The Sun will rise at 8:10. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 28 minutes, setting at 5:38. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 12:30 tomorrow morning.

Let’s take a look at the Moon tonight with binoculars or a small telescope. The crescent Moon tonight has completely revealed the Sea of Tranquility, or Mare Tranquillitatis. Right on the western edge, east to us, of the sea is a ruined crater called Julius Caesar. It seems to have formed by a small asteroid collision in the first half billion years of the Moon’s existance. It’s shape was distorted by the impact that created the Sea of Tranquility. The Moon’s so-called seas are all pretty much impact craters, just really big ones. North of Tranquility is the Sea of Serenity which will be completely in sunlight tomorrow night. By the way, the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society telescope clinic that was scheduled for January has been moved to February 2nd.

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

Addendum

The Moon tonight

The fat crescent Moon at 8 p.m. January 23, 2018. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

Julius Caesar

The crater Julius Caesar from photographs supplied with Virtual Moon Atlas.

09/26/2017 – Ephemeris – Saturn appears near the Moon tonight

September 26, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Tuesday, September 26th. The Sun will rise at 7:34. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 57 minutes, setting at 7:31. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 11:32 this evening.

Tonight the Moon will to be near the planet Saturn. At 9 p.m. the ringed planet will be seen below the crescent Moon. It’s a good way to spot Saturn if you’ve never be able to figure out which of those “stars” in the sky is Saturn. It’s easy to confirm with a small telescope. Even in binoculars Saturn is not quite a star-like point. Saturn’s rings begin to show distinctly with 20 power magnification. The Moon too is great to view at low power, even binoculars. A new sea has appeared since last night. It is the Sea of Serenity above the center of the Moon. The lunar seas are really large nearly circular lava filled craters that appear to have been the result of asteroid impacts about 3.8 or so billion years ago.

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

Addendum

Saturn and the Moon

Saturn and the Moon tonight, 9 p.m. September 26, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars, 9 p.m. September 26, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Compare with last night’s Moon.

The Moon tonight

The annotated crescent moon tonight, September 25, 2017. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

05/12/2016 – Ephemeris – The Moon tonight

May 12, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, May 12th.  Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 44 minutes, setting at 9:01.   The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 2:26 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:16.

The moon tonight is a fat crescent.  In binoculars the small Sea of Crises is prominently located as a gray patch at the edge of the moon.  The Sea of Fertility is below it, while the sea of Tranquility is between them and near the terminator, the sunrise line on the moon.  In telescopes there are three craters south of Tranquility, most prominent of which is Theophilus. With its prominent central peak.  Farther to the north of Crises and near the partially exposed Sea of Serenity is the crater Posidonius, larger than Theophilus, but has a double crater wall on one side.  Larger telescopes can see cracks in its floor .  It has no central peak, and shows its age of maybe three and a half billion years.

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

Addendum

The Moon tonight

The Moon at 10 p.m. May 12, 2016. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

09/12/2013 – Ephemeris – A look at the first quarter moon

September 12, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, September 12th.  The sun will rise at 7:18.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 40 minutes, setting at 7:58.   The moon, at first quarter today, will set at 12:36 tomorrow morning.

By this evening the moon will be just past first quarter and the terminator will bulge a bit to the east.  Through binoculars or the naked eye the scallop shell shaped sea will be visible at the upper right part of the moon,  the man in the moon’s left eye.  In telescopes the moon will be inverted and even also reversed, so Serenity could appear in any other quadrant depending on what your telescope does to the image.  Toward the terminator from Serenity  are two mountain ranges The south part is the Apennines, and the northern part is the Alps.  The Alps is cut by a gash called the Alpine Valley.  There’s also a triangle of distinctive craters also visible near the terminator.

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

Addendum

Moon

First quarter Moon with some of the features on its northern hemisphere. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.