The moon will be a waxing gibbous tonight and show off an assortment of craters, mountain ranges and “maria” (MAH-ree-uh) or seas. I’ve labeled the prominent ones. Most are visible with the naked eye but any pair of binoculars will bring them all into clear view. Virtual Moon Atlas
I know you’re all thinking about the Orionid meteor shower this weekend, but take a few minutes to get moonstruck as we celebrate International Observe the Moon Night tonight.
Click the image to go to the event’s Facebook page.
The moon may be for lovers, but I long ago fell in love with the orb itself. It’s a completely alien celestial body and yet so close to Earth, just 239,000 miles (385,000 km) away. Besides the sun, which you can’t look at directly without a filter, it’s the only outer space object big enough to show shape and detail with your eyes alone.
Look up tonight and you’ll see more than a half dozen gray patches called “seas” that look like dark blemishes against the bright, white lunar highlands. The seas are huge plains of solidified magma that welled up from below the crust to fill the bowls of enormous craters ...