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Deep Sky Observing
[ Deep Sky Observing ]

·Astronomy: Deep Sky Observing - THE WEBB SOCIETY
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  Moon: Astronomy: Moon - Moon Rotation
Posted on Saturday, December 04 @ 16:10:56 CST by astronomy


"Tides" raised in the rocky body of the Moon by Earth's gravity have caused the Moon to rotate on its axis in exactly the same time as it takes to orbit Earth. This is why the same side is always turned toward us.

As it orbits, the Moon shows a varying amount of its illuminated face because the angle between the Sun, Earth, and itself changes. These variations are called phases.

While Full Moon has its attractions, the best time to explore the Moon's cratered surface with a telescope is when sunlight strikes it at a shallow angle, creating long shadows and throwing the features into sharp relief. This happens twice a month for about a week at a time, centered on the dates of the First and Last Quarter phases.

Start with the lowest magnification your telescope has and slowly increase the power as on feature of another catches your eyes. If the view grows blurry, drop back in power. Identify any large dark maria you can see, and use them as a guide to take you farther. You will see the most details near the terminator-the dividing line between the illuminated and dark portions of the moon.




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