July 25, 2006

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The Thinest Moon?

image by Pete Lawrence

Spotting a thin Moon is a competitive sport with impossibly anorexic crescents being visually reported. But there are far fewer images of very thin Moons than verbal reports. Pete Lawrence sends this image which is as close to nothing as I have seen. Here’s Pete’s account: This morning (24th) I got up early and took a look into the north-east. I was somewhat surprised to see lots of clouds around. I decided to hang on and keep an eye on what was happening. I knew the Moon was in there somewhere but I couldn’t see any stars to find my way around. I saw Venus and decided to set up my telescope in my front garden, just in case. At 04h00m UT I was tired and on the verge of giving up. I still couldn’t see stars but could see things around me in the garden very clearly as the dawn was advancing fast. Suddenly, between two thick cloud banks, I picked up a thin white line in my binoculars and sprang into action… A few tense moments when I had to move the telescope to avoid a lamp post and a few snips at a straggly bush in the front garden (which now has a rectangular section taken out of it!) and I had the incredibly faint crescent in my finder. Moments later, there it was on my computer screen - a sight as beautiful as any I’ve ever seen in the sky. Small distant birds were flying across the giant crescent - an awesome sight.

Chuck Wood

LPOD Update: I jetted in on a redeye this morning from JPL and leave tomorrow for Langley Space Center and another meeting. Cassini’s radar revealed methane lakes, some apparently in volcanic calderas - two exciting discoveries! A new LPOD image will appear Saturday.

Technical Details:
July 24, 2006. Skywatcher 80ED Pro f/7 refractor fitted with a Meade 0.63 focal reducer and a Canon 10D DSLR camera.

Related Links:
Recent Moons

Yesterday's LPOD: Swept Away

Tomorrow's LPOD: A Moth-Lover's View of the Moon


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