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Bob Moler's Ephemeris Blog

07/16/2021 – Ephemeris – The best time to see detail on the Moon (IMHO)

16 Jul 2021, 04:22 UTC
07/16/2021 – Ephemeris – The best time to see detail on the Moon (IMHO)
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

This is Ephemeris for Friday, July 16th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 11 minutes, setting at 9:24, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:13. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 1:08 tomorrow morning.
I consider the week centered on the first quarter moon to be the best time to view the Moon in a telescope. The best part of the Moon to view is near the terminator. The terminator is the sunrise line on the moon that we see before full moon, and the sunset line we see after full moon. The terminator is where the shadows are longest on the Moon and indeed on the Earth, with the low Sun in the sky. The Moon has lots of craters in its south or bottom part. We call that the lunar highlands, which is completely saturated with craters. Personally, I like craters. The darker lava plains that were initially called seas (the name stuck). They are flat and nearly featureless unless seen very close to the terminator, where the slight wrinkle ridges can be spotted.
The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – ...

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