Note: these blogs appeared for the first time as columns in the Newcastle Advertiser (Caxton)
Shakespeare likened Juliet’s beauty to the moon in the play Romeo and Juliet when he referred to “the envious moon,” in comparison to her. The moon has been the focus of innumerable poems, songs, paintings, myths, legends and photographs for very good reason. It is the most obvious celestial object besides our sun and because it has a massive influence over us (affecting our tides and much more), it is no wonder that it gets so much attention.
Observing the moon is easy with even a small pair of binoculars and / or a camera but it is with a telescope that its wonders are truly revealed. Even a small telescope will allow you to see massive craters and mountains that were formed through impacts from meteors and geomorphological processes that happened millions of years ago and in the case of impacts, are still happening today.
The dark patches on the moon resemble seas from afar hence the Latin name for them: “Mare” meaning “sea” and giving rise to names such as, “the Sea of Crisis – Mare Crisium,” or “the Sea of Tranquillity – Mare Tranquillitatus,” wherein the first humans landed in 1969.
The moon is approximately 378 881kms from Earth and orbits it every 27 days. It does not emit but reflects sunlight.
The next time we have clear skies and the moon is visible have a good look at her – is it a rabbit or a man on the moon?
*Angus Burns uses primarily Celestron products as well as Sky-Watcher and Canon Cameras*