With the lunar South Polar Region tilted towards the earth it was a good evening to take a look at the craters positioned where the terminator meets the southern limb. The most notable craters I was able to see well and sketch were two large Nectarian period craters. The western most is crater Amundsen (108 km.) named for the first Antarctic explorer to reach the earthâ€™s South Pole. Its far wall was well illuminated by sunlight and low central peaks could be seen during brief periods of improved seeing. Just to the north the other crater named for an Antarctic explorer, Scott (110 km.) was seen but the floor was mostly in shadow especially to the east. To the east northeast of Amundsen the crater Demonax (115km.) named for the second century philosopher was the easiest of the three craters to see in the morning light. Sixteen kilometer Demonax A could be viewed on the south floor near the far rim of this crater and the southwestern worn rim of Demonax was brightly illuminated in the low sunlight. Additional small craters were visible on the outer north rim. The sky was beautifully clear at the time of the observation and the moon was high in the western sky. Unfortunately the seeing was very poor and limited the detail that could be resolved during the observation. All in all a nice break from the very cold cloudy nights that defined January this year.
For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 14â€x 6.5â€, white and black Conteâ€™ pastel pencils and a blending stump. After scanning, Brightness was decreased (-2) and contrast increased (+1) using Microsoft Office Picture Manager.
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian 6mm eyepieces 241x
Date: 2-1-2009; 0:00 - 2:15 UT
Temperature: 1Â° C (34Â° F)
Seeing: Antoniadi IV
Colongitude: 342.3 Â°
Lunation: 5.7 days
Libration in Latitude: -6Â° 3â€™
Libration in Longitude: -7Â° 8â€™
Illumination: 29.5 %