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Posts Tagged ‘Theophilus’

02/20/2018 – Ephemeris – Tonight’s the night to spot a chain of three of my favorite craters

February 20, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, February 20th. The Sun will rise at 7:35. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 43 minutes, setting at 6:18. The Moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 11:29 this evening.

I was a day off in my Moon calculations yesterday. The three of my favorite craters, just south of the partially illuminated Sea of Tranquility will be visible tonight. From north to south or top to bottom, near the terminator or sunrise line is Theophilus, which slightly overlaps the crater wall of Cyrillus, then a bit farther south another older crater Catharina. These craters were named by a Jesuit astronomer Giovanni Battista Riccioli (Ri’cholli). He even named a crater Copernicus, even though he followed the Church teachings of the time he didn’t believe in the Copernican Sun centered system, but the system put forth by Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe where the Moon and Sun circled the Earth, but the other planets circled the Sun.

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

Addendum

Crescent Moon

The crescent Moon on the evening of February 20th, 2018. showing the craters discussed in the test. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas and rotated to approximate its orientation in the sky after sunset.

Repeating from yesterday:  For anyone east of here who can see the Moon at 19:00 UT, on the 20th should see Theophilus shadow filled with the crater rim and the central peak poking into sunlight.  It should be visible from Europe and the Mid East.  Let me know with a comment if I guessed right.

02/19/2018 – Ephemeris – A trio of craters emerge into sunlight on the moon tomorrow night

February 19, 2018 Comments off

Whoops, I set my Virtual Moon Atlas app to the 20th instead of the 19th.  I’m fixing the transcript for the blog readers, but the original program will go out as is.  Tomorrow’s program will be substantially the same.

Ephemeris for President’s Day, Monday, February 19th. The Sun will rise at 7:36. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 40 minutes, setting at 6:16. The Moon, half way from new to first quarter, will set at 10:23 this evening.

The crescent Moon tomorrow will be revealing a trio of my favorite craters, just south of the partially illuminated Sea of Tranquility. From north to south or top to bottom, near the terminator or sunrise line is Theophilus, which slightly overlaps the crater wall of Cyrillus, than a bit farther south another older crater Catharina. These craters were named by a Jesuit astronomer Giovanni Battista Riccioli in his book New Almagest in 1651. Most of his crater names have stuck. He didn’t believe in the Copernican Sun centered system or the strict Earth centered system of Ptolemy, but the system put forth by Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe where the Moon and Sun circled the Earth, but the other planets circled the Sun.
The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Crescent Moon

The crescent Moon on the evening of February 20th, 2018. showing the craters discussed in the test. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas and rotated to approximate its orientation in the sky after sunset.

For anyone east of here who can see the Moon at 19:00 UT, on the 20th should see Theophilus shadow filled with the crater rim and the central peak poking into sunlight.

09/25/2017 – Ephemeris – Lets look at the Moon tonight

September 25, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Monday, September 25th. The Sun will rise at 7:33 a.m. It’ll be up for 12 hours exactly, setting at 7:33 p.m. The Moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 10:52 this evening.

Let’s take a look at the crescent Moon tonight. It will be fairly low in the southwestern sky this evening. Four of the gray lava plains called seas are now visible in binoculars or small telescopes. Nearest the right limb of the Moon is the Sea of Crises, next nearest if the Sea of Fertility. A small sea next to that is the Sea of Nectar. Above that, mostly exposed to sunlight is the Sea of Tranquility. The Sun is just rising at Tranquility Base, where Apollo 11 landed, where the Lunar Module’s descent stage still lies, forlorn and empty. Below that is the beautiful crater Theophilus with its central peak. It is 61 miles (101 km) in diameter, and its crater walls rise over 13,000 feet (4,400 meters) above the crater floor.

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

Addendum

The Moon tonight

The annotated crescent moon tonight, September 25, 2017. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.  Click on the image to enlarge.

Apollo 11 landing site

The Apollo 11 landing site in one photograph by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. There are many with varying Sun angles in the Internet. Search for: Apollo 11 LRO images. Credit NASA.

10/06/2016 Ephemeris – Viewing the Moon tonight

October 6, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, October 6th. The Sun will rise at 7:47. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 25 minutes, setting at 7:13. The Moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 10:44 this evening.

Tonight the waxing crescent Moon will appear between Saturn on the right and Mars on the left. In a small telescope the Sea of Tranquility is now mostly in daylight. The Sun will rise on the Apollo 11 landing site about one this afternoon. The landing site cannot be seen from the Earth, it’s artifacts are too small. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has to get down to about 15 miles altitude to photograph them. The craters of Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina are seen to the south of Tranquility. Just south of them there looks like a wrinkle in the Moon surface. It’s the Altai Scarp, which is named for the Altai mountains of central Asia. The three craters border the small Sea of Nectar. The lunar seas are basins of solidified lava.

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

Addendum

The Moon tonight

Moon Chart for tonight (October 6, 2016) at 9 p.m. showing the areas discussed above. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.’

Apollo 11 landing site

The Apollo 11 landing site in one photograph by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. There are many with varying Sun angles in the Internet. Search for: Apollo 11 LRO images. Credit NASA.

09/06/2016 – Ephemeris – The prominent lunar crater Theophilus

September 6, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, September 6th. The Sun will rise at 7:11. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 57 minutes, setting at 8:09. The Moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 10:55 this evening.

The Moon’s terminator, the sunrise line, is half-way across the Sea of Tranquility on our satellite’s equator. Below that is a distinctive crater just coming into light. It’s prominent enough to spot in binoculars. It’s name is Theophilus. The name is familiar with those familiar with the New Testament of the Bible, as the person that the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles is addressed to. However that isn’t who the crater is named for, but for the Patriarch of Alexandria of the late 4th century. The two other large craters south of Theophilus that will be visible tomorrow are named for two other Orthodox saints of Alexandria. They were named by Giovanni Riccioli a 17th century astronomer and priest, who named many other craters.

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

Addendum

Theophilus

The Moon at 9 p.m. September 6, 2016 showing the crater Theophilus. Created using the Virtual Moon Atlas.

When Theophilus is on the terminator as it is tonight the Sun may touch the crater rim and the central peaks, while the crater floor is still in shadow.  It’s a cool sight.

Three Orthodox Saints on the Moon

Three Alexandrian saints, Theophilus, Cyrillus, and Catharina (St Catherine) immortalized on the Moon. Created using the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter texture on the Virtual Moon Atlas.

Note that Cyrillus has very low crater walls and is hard to see unless the sun angle is low near lunar sunrise of sunset.

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.

06/13/2013 – Ephemeris – The moon tonight and the crater Theophilus

June 13, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, June 13th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 9:28.   The moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 12:23 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 5:56.

The 5 day old crescent moon reveals to a small telescope, a trio of large craters on the edge of the moon’s terminator or sunrise line.  The best of these is on top Theophilus, a perfectly circular 61 mile diameter crater with a prominent central peak.  It’s a little late for it tonight but sometimes when the terminator is crossing the crater, the floor is dark and the central peak catches the morning sunlight.  The other two craters won’t be completely in sunlight tonight.  Theophilus is a couple of hundred miles south of the Apollo 11 landing site in the Sea of Tranquility,  That sea will be completely in sunlight tomorrow night.  The moon is a great celestial object to view with any telescope.

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

Addendum

The moon

The moon at 10 p.m. on June 13, 2013. In our skies the moon will be rotated some 30-40 degrees clockwise. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas.

Note: Due to some familial concerns yesterday, this post is a bit late.