December 21, 2007

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East of the Pole

image by Jérôme Grenier, Paris, France

What is that crater behind Moretus? Wait, that’s not Moretus! Its the smaller look-alike Schomberger. This image captures the often overlooked area just east of Moretus, on the eastern side of the lunar prime meridian. As with most places near the southern limb, navigational beacons are necessary, and Boguslawsky with its bright rim crater “D” provides it to the east, and the large plateau-like mountain Leibnitz Beta is prominent further north. Once again, Ewen Whitaker’s 50+ year old map is the best guide to this area, and I have transfered most of the designations from there and Rükl’s Atlas to a smaller version of Jérôme’s image below. I was certain that the massive eastern rim of Simpelius would have received a designation long ago, and it did - it is Simpelius Alpha on the Beer and Mädler map of the 1830s. Comparing this complex, cluttered and latitudinally compressed area on Jérôme’s modern image with Beer and Mädler’s map brings a sense of reverence and awe. Mädler - he was the mapper, Beer provided the telescope - used a 3.75″ refractor and had to plot everything by hand while standing at the eyepiece, yet almost every mark on his map matches a real feature.

Chuck Wood


Technical Details:
18 December 2007. Dmk31 AF03,Orion Optics (UK) OMC 12″ + barlow 2x + red filter.

Related Links:
Rükl plates 73 & 74
Jérôme’s website.

Yesterday's LPOD: Bright Targets

Tomorrow's LPOD: Unnecessary Mystery


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