August 12, 2012
Not Seeing All the Moon
image by Robert Reeves, San Antonio, Texas
Every place on the Moon has something of interest but this southwest corner of Nubium is full of informative and challenging observing targets. Probably the easiest feature to see is the Hesiodus Rille, the broad trough striking diagonally across the bottom of the image. Further left is the classic Kies dome with its central pit that I've never glimpsed through a telescope. I have just barely seen the inner ring of the Hesiodus A concentric crater to the lower right of the rille, while the concentric rilles within Pitatus are undetected by my eye, but the dome that the western rille cuts was seen. I don't recall noticing the radial ridges around Bullialdus, probably because at this illumination I would be searching for the Kies dome. Often seen is the strange rolled rim of Gauricus at the bottom right corner. But I never noticed at upper right the wind-swept looking ray streaks from Tycho. What this says is that I'm not a very observant observer. I often look for landforms I know are there, to mentally check them off, but I have a harder time seeing features that require high visual accuity/resolution and an easier time with slope detection. These are elements of my own personal equation, the systematic quirks of my observing. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses, accounting for why there were so many claims of new or changing features in the old days of visual oberving. Now, with excellent images such as this, detection is more certifiable and we can spend more effort with interpretation and understanding. I know the details of the lunar surface through images, but I do, still, get a thrill from putting my eye to the eyepiece.
Summer of 2011. 12-inch Meade SCT with an OPT Craford focuser, a DMK-41 monochrome camera, captured with IC Capture, best 200 images of 800 stacked and processed in RegiStax 6 with tweaks applied in Photoshop CS3.
Rükl plate 53
Yesterday's LPOD: Morning Lineup
Tomorrow's LPOD: Chains