Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Lunation 195: The 22-Day-Old Moon

The Moon at 22 Days of "Age"
Seen through a fine layer of high-altitude cirrus cloud the 22-Day-Old Moon (a day past Last Quarter) is rather dim compared with only a few mornings ago. This thick crescent reflects toward us only a small fraction of the sunlight striking it's surface. In practical terms this means that I need a longer exposure to capture an image; historically this period of a Lunation is when Luna is most often ignored by casual night-time observers.

At this point the portion of Luna's face that we see is covered almost entirely by dark Maria ("Seas"), making it even less reflective--and, apparently, more drab than the First Quarter Moon, still nearly two weeks away. But there ARE impressive sights to be found here with binoculars or a small telescope.
Once again I include a basic lunar map; what craters and "seas" can YOU identify as you moonwalk with your eyes?

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