January 10, 2013
Full Moon Last Quarter
image by Jerry Hubbell
The problem with being confined to Earth is that our perspective of the Moon is always about the same. Sure, librations move limb features a little into or out of better view, but we can't see the infinity of phases that exist from observation points other than on the surface of our planet. But by using Jim Mosher's LTVT program Jerry has recreated an observing position out in space, 90° from Earth, in the Moon's orbit. We have seen a few images similar to this from lunar orbiters or passing spacecraft, but with LTVT any imager can view the Moon from any vantage point. And when the perspective is new what you see is different. For example, I can imagine that the underlying impact basin that contains Mare Fecunditatis is much bigger than I thought. Was there a circular basin defined by the mountain arc southwest of Taruntius (Secchi Mtns), running along the bright ridge northeast of Nectaris, and at the edge of a maria bay near Petavius? If you look at the overhead view of Fecunditatis on p 87 in a remarkable new lunar atlas, ahem, you will see that the large basin is probably not the best fit - a smaller one that curves up to Langrenus - is. And the Andrusov and Mawson mare ridges parallel the smaller basin rim. So my first thought from the different perspective probably isn't right, but forced me to look again more carefully at a poorly defined features, and that is good.
2012-12-30 0700 UTC. Explore Scientific ED127 APO Carbon Fiber plus my ATIK 314e TEC CCD. 4 frame mosaic of 30-40 stacked frames
Yesterday's LPOD: Moonlight And Moondark
Tomorrow's LPOD: Battered Rings