November 23, 2013

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Exploring the Intermediate Zone


image by Daniel Leclerc, Pointe-aux-Trembles (Montreal), Quebec, Canada

Note from CAW: This is an example of a pleasing image taken by a newbie. It was amazingly easy to take and encompasses a lot of different lunar terraces. A lot of geology can be seen and discovered on this image. And labeling the craters on your own image would be a very satisfying way to learn your way around the Moon. The extreme range of brightness from left to right is real - the Moon does brighten immensely near full Moon lighting at right, but often I motify the image to make it photographically more pleasing, but this is the lunar truth. I like it when people make the Moon their own by capturing its likeness in images, sketches and descriptions. Now there is one more person to share it with.

When imaging the Moon, lunar observers love zooming in on lunar features in order to see interesting details. This is very good, but it sometimes makes it hard to figure out where these objects are compared to other well-known features. Of course, lunar maps and books can help for that purpose, but large scale images and even a good descriptive text are not always sufficient. Images showing intermediate size surfaces sometimes provide relevant and optimal information, at least for specific cases. As a newbie, it took me a lot of time understanding the Straight Wall location and I decided to take an picture helping others to figure it out. I was my own main motivation taking this picture. We see several famous lunar structures. "The Straight Wall" (also called "The Sword") is located in a crater at the bottom left. We recognize its form of "saber". The Sea of Rains is at the top left, partially in shadow. The Sea of Serenity is seen at the top right, above the Sea of Tranquility, which is darker. Mid-height of my photo, you can see the chain of the grandest mountains on the Moon: the Apennines, a chain of lunar mountains that extend over a curve near 600 km with peaks up to 5000 meters high.

Daniel Leclerc

Technical Details
I took this picture the ninth day of the lunar cycle.using my small Olympus Stylus 850SW point-and-shoot camera with the "Macro" mode, in front of the 10 mm eyepiece of my telescope and a Barlow 2X. Settings on the camera were ISO 64, for 1/60 seconds, compensation -2. The telescope was a Sky-Watcher 200 mm Newtonian telescope on the EQ5 mount.

Related Links
21st Century Atlas charts 10 to 13 and more.

Yesterday's LPOD: Still Sad

Tomorrow's LPOD: Never Too Much


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