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Newb Question: Book for beginner Moon observer?

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#1 spongebob@55

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:41 AM

Hi all,
I'm getting a f/15 scope soon with the intent of lunar observing. But seeing these threads tell me I need to learn the moon first, and to have some guidance as to what to look for first, then as I learn the surface features. Is there a reference book I could use both as a reference and an outside observing guide?
Thanks
Sbob

#2 brianb11213

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:16 AM

No, I don't think you need to "learn" before observing ... just get a copy of Virtual Lunar Atlas or similar (free download) and identify the features that you can see.

But for a general introduction to the moon, I think it's hard to beat "Patrick Moore on the Moon".

#3 Staredge

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:41 AM

Get yourself a good lunar map, and pick an observing list. I find the AL Lunar I to be a good start. Naked eye, bino, and small scope objects to be found. Here's a list of all the observing programs I've found. Some easy, some hard.

http://www.cloudynig...5561672/page...



I've been looking for good books for a while. I haven't found one that is a good reference AND useful in the field. I usually read them to see what it is I was looking at. Learning about the history of the moon interests me as well. The Modern Moon is one of the better ones I've seen, but it's out of print. Gerald North's Observing the Moon is ok. It goes into some detail on a bunch of objects. Have another one from Firefly. Can't remember the name of it. The Peter Grego book is an interesting read but only gives slim terminator views in the observing section.

What I really wish existed........Burnham's Lunar Handbook. That would be awesome.

#4 Staredge

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:52 AM

http://www.lpi.usra....ooks/rockyMoon/

Here's a free one:
To a Rocky Moon: A Geologist's History of Lunar Exploration by Don E. Wilhelms.

Heavy duty reading. Not exactly what you are looking for, but interesting in it's own right.

and free.

#5 RobertED

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:55 PM

Hey Sbob!! For now, just look at the Moon over, and over, and over. You'll become familiar with many features...way cool, and some 'not-so-way cool!' Then you'll want to know their names. Just get a good map or atlas that you can use for a 'quick reference'....and there you go!! :refractor: :imawake: :rockon:

Just refer to the suggestions mentioned above and below, by the great observers here at Cloudy Nights!! All good suggestions!!!

#6 cpsTN

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 04:41 PM

The best Moon map I have is from Sky and Telescope:
http://www.shopatsky...he-Moon/maps...

DO get the Virtual Moon Atlas, as has been recommended. If you do, get the 10th anniversary edition. It is free and the maps are amazing.

#7 Rick Woods

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:42 PM

+1 on the S&T Field Map and "Modern Moon".

With a refractor (or MCT, at f/15), you'll probably be using a diagonal; you might want the reverse-image version of the S&T map.

PS: You don't need to learn anything first. Learn as you go!

#8 Tim2723

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 10:44 AM

The Virtual Moon Atlas belongs on every Lunar Observer's computer. Y0u can print out maps for the night's observing. Taking abound book into the wet night air can be a problem for many observers. The S&T Moon Map is great and not expensive. It's laminated for outdoor use too. As a fellow NJ observer, we share the same damp nights. I've ruined more than one paper book, I can tell you!

#9 spongebob@55

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 06:54 PM

Downloaded the Virtual Mon Atlas. Thanks guys.

How detailed is the S&T Moon Atlas? After all, its only 4 quadrants.......

#10 lcaldero

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 09:16 PM

If you like books, check out "Discover the Moon" by Jean Lacroux and Christian Legrand. It has 14 guided observing sessions which are a pretty good introduction, if it fits your learning style. The images are of varying quality.

#11 JimK

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 04:11 PM

If you like books, check out "Discover the Moon" by Jean Lacroux and Christian Legrand. It has 14 guided observing sessions which are a pretty good introduction, if it fits your learning style. ...

Agreed -- I found this book to be best for *my* many first detailed lunar observing experiences. I can now use other materials for figuring out what I am seeing.

The S&T 4-quadrant lunar map does help in identifying lunar stuff, but for me some of the fine details are lost in the mass of grey shading. For quick looks it now suffices, but I use other resources for details. And I still sometimes use "Discover the Moon" -- which often satisfies *my* needs. Note that I am in a very dry area, so disposable lunar printouts may work better for you unless you keep your lunar books under cover somehow.

#12 spongebob@55

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 02:03 PM

Is 'The Modern Moon: A Personal View' Hardcover any good?
Got the scope, now need to get the heck out of this horrible weather month!
Thanks
Bob

#13 Greyhaven

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 03:03 PM

My personal favorite is Alan Chu's Moon Book.It is a free download from this site http://www.alanchuhk.com/ This site is located in Hong Kong but the site is in both English and Chinese and the book is available in English. His book is 257pgs of wonderful photography and description of the Moon. A true must have and it's FREE.
Be Well
Grey

#14 ibase

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:10 PM

My personal favorite is Alan Chu's Moon Book.It is a free download from this site http://www.alanchuhk.com/ This site is located in Hong Kong but the site is in both English and Chinese and the book is available in English. His book is 257pgs of wonderful photography and description of the Moon. A true must have and it's FREE.
Be Well
Grey


+1

Very good Moon Book, I even printed the entire PDF file and had it bound as shown below:

Posted Image

And it's free as Grey had said, can't beat that.

Best,

#15 azure1961p

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 08:48 AM

I recommend getting a used copy of Rukls Lunar Atlas. Next get a copy of Harold Hills portfolio of moon drawings. Both out of print like all the best books out there . I'm amazed Uranometria is still in print!!!

Pete

#16 davidmcgo

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:09 PM

Exploring the Moon Through Binoculars and Small Telescopes is a good book to start out with. Epic Moon by Sheehan is a great historical reference to compare what you are seeing with the theories du jour for the last few hundred years but is not an observing guide but is fascinating to read. I also really enjoyed To a Rocky Moon for the geological context from the Apollo program.

#17 Mr Greybush

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 10:15 PM

Here is my thoughts and a recommendation. Try the Astronomical league's Lunar observing program even if your not a member its a good learning tool. I used the virtual moon atlas as a guide. I'm not to familiar with the books mentioned but I felt this will help you as well.

#18 davidmcgo

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 11:04 PM

Also to add, if you have an iPhone or iPad, Horsham Online has a great Moon Atlas app that is very capable for very low cost. I use this and their Mars Atlas very frequently.

Dave

#19 photonovore

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 01:40 PM

If you like books, check out "Discover the Moon" by Jean Lacroux and Christian Legrand. It has 14 guided observing sessions which are a pretty good introduction, if it fits your learning style. ...

Agreed -- I found this book to be best for *my* many first detailed lunar observing experiences. I can now use other materials for figuring out what I am seeing.

The S&T 4-quadrant lunar map does help in identifying lunar stuff, but for me some of the fine details are lost in the mass of grey shading. For quick looks it now suffices, but I use other resources for details. And I still sometimes use "Discover the Moon" -- which often satisfies *my* needs. Note that I am in a very dry area, so disposable lunar printouts may work better for you unless you keep your lunar books under cover somehow.


+1 excellent introduction for beginners--which is nicely paired with Alan Chu's guide-- and later both of Wood's books, Modern Moon and his new atlas--if continued interest warrants.

Sad to say the best real *atlas* is still Rukl's. "Sad" because it has gotten so expensive once again (altho the old kalmbach edition can be had for <50$ still). But there is really no good substitute, in print at least. But there is really no need for this book unless your enthusiasm for observing the Moon becomes somewhat... obsessive... ;) Same goes for any geology texts beyond Wood's-- which provides an outline sufficient to satisfy most normal levels of curiosity.

#20 Rick Woods

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:14 PM

Sponge,

You asked:

How detailed is the S&T Moon Atlas? After all, its only 4 quadrants.......


It's very detailed. When you grow past it, there are other resources availabel; but it's "da bomb" for convenient yet detailed observing.

Is 'The Modern Moon: A Personal View' Hardcover any good?


It's excellent. Very easy to read, written in a very personable style, and it gives you a really good understanding of what you're seeing without talking over your head or getting dry and boring.

#21 desertstars

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:21 PM

Having scrolled down these posts, checked the recommendations, and remembering what happened when I asked the same question sometime in 2003, I can only add a single thing:

A bookcase.

Probably a big one.

Trust me...

#22 Rick Woods

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 12:38 PM

... and a salary increase...

#23 photonovore

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 06:29 PM

lol! So..I was inspired to count the lunar-specific books i have gathered over the years and it only comes to 63 not counting pamphlets.. So not *that* bad. Probably only a dozen or so of these are real 'must haves' (if that)...the rest are mostly just collectibles. The internet is the real "science library" these days...






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