Lunar Program for 90mm
Posted 11 December 2013 - 04:09 PM
So I thought an observing program might work for me. I first thought of the Astronomical League (AL) Lunar Programs, then came across the Isabel Williamson Lunar Observing Program of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) and that seems to suit my interests. I will *not* be seeking the RASC certificate; I will only look for the objects. An earlier CN thread (click here) discussed this program.
I have a decent 90mm/3.5-inch Mak that I intend to use for this quest starting in 2014 (in the past I have used this telescope successfully for the AL Carbon Star program and for finding the brighter asteroids).
As to my questions for experienced lunar observers:
1) Has completing the RASC Isabel Williamson Lunar Observing Program (IWLOP) been of value?
2) Is the IWLOP suitable for my intended telescope, and are there any "pitfalls" regarding this choice? The IWLOP guide seems to say an 80mm telescope is okay for all but the challenge observations.
3) Are there other comparable options that I should consider?
Thanks in advance.
Posted 11 December 2013 - 04:55 PM
Neither this atlas or any of the books hints at the extraordinary texture and patterns of the Ejecta from the larger craters such as Copernicus or Kepler.
Posted 11 December 2013 - 10:28 PM
I think that I enjoy the view of a beautiful sunset or the naked-eye Moon as much as the next person. But I have a small telescope and want more than just beautiful viewing.
If I went to an art gallery I would see some pretty paintings, but not much else because I haven't had any art technique or history training. If I went to many art museums, their presentations of artwork would eventually guide me to learn different things to look at in the artwork. And thus I would enjoy it more.
I have been guided to see a few things on the moon and wish to continue my education. Eventually I might be able to use Wood's "Modern Moon" and understand more of what I am seeing, and thus desire to explore more on my own. But for now I need something a little more advanced to continue to guide me.
For instance, I was just out for an hour with my telescope looking at the moon and looked at the region of the Carpathian Mountains. Based on the book "Discover the Moon" I looked for and found the Gay-Lussac Rille, which I certainly would have skipped otherwise. Then I noticed the shadows of 3 peaks just north of crater Gay-Lussac -- these remain unlabeled and un-described in any reference that I currently have, paper or computerized. So they are just like non-descript artwork to me, whereas the newly-found rille was interesting. And Rukl's "Atlas of the Moon" shows two craters on the floor of Archimedes ("S" and "T") yet my views revealed only a completely flat floor. Is my telescope not capable of viewing these craters, or was the seeing insufficient tonight? Dunno, hence another desire for a lunar guide.
I'm outside in my yard with 10F to 20F weather -- not the best environment for a laptop (and too cumbersome to arrange for, too). So I prefer to have just a notepad, and a (paper) reference or two at most when viewing, and learning.
Posted 12 December 2013 - 12:41 AM
Posted 12 December 2013 - 01:57 AM
Posted 12 December 2013 - 03:00 PM
I have had "Modern Moon" on my shelf for 10 years now, and it is in excellent condition. *To me* this book is like a text book, not a beginner or even intermediate observing guide. I have tried to read parts of it several times now, and each time it goes back on the shelf for "later" use. I am not just ready for it because I wish to be guided in finding and seeing more features first. I still have the book, but I do not agree with your recommendation. Everyone has their own opinion on enjoying this hobby, which is good.
"Modern Moon" is actually written at a very popular level, while still giving you a good broad-view understanding of the Moon. It's very easy to read. Don't avoid it because you're thinking it will be dry or overly technical; it's neither.
Posted 12 December 2013 - 03:11 PM
I could not find any observing programs in the lunar section of the ALPO -- maybe I was looking in the wrong section -- I just found monthly publications and a monograph section.
Hi Jim, you may want to chick out These two groups : A.L.P.O, The Association of Lunar & Planetary Observers and The BAA, The British Astronomical association.
The BAA Lunar Section has a program focused on three topics: eight specific types of topographic features in summary format, a brief mention of transient phenomena, and a section on occultations still under development. I looked at this document previously and let it pass.
Posted 12 December 2013 - 09:32 PM
Hope this helps though I kno its not what you were asking.
Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:08 PM
And I have never heard of the Pickering Unaided Eye Scale....I've got to try that!
Posted 07 January 2014 - 06:00 PM
In looking at Luna on recent clear nights I have have completed a couple dozen of the items and I am pleased. This program is just the tool I needed to advance my abilities beyond the book "Discover the Moon" by Lacroux and Legrand. The listing has enough detail to assist my viewing of our Moon and I will continue my efforts to observe all of the features identified. I have even found many (but not all, so far) of the challenge observations.
Yes, I know some people dislike lists (and still others dislike books, or numbers, or whatever -- we are all different), but I have found the IWLOP guide to be very useful to me. Its listings encourage me to look at objects and detail that I probably would have missed on my own. Hundreds of people over the years have looked at the Moon and found interesting things. I don't believe that I would locate more than a tiny fraction of those things, hence my need for something to guide me along in my self-education of observing the Moon. I realize that there are many who will disregard anything and everything about this approach -- so be it -- but the program seems to be a worthwhile effort for me, and there might be a few others in the same situation. If so, then you have my recommendation on this program (whether or not you wish to pursue the associated certificate).
Posted 11 January 2014 - 10:13 PM
Posted 12 January 2014 - 01:52 PM
You're quite welcome, and I hope you enjoy the adventure.
... Thanks for bringing it up.
Just the other night when using the "list" I noted that the central peak of crater Timocharis had been obliterated by a well-placed smaller crater. On my own I would not have found this very small feature, and it is most likely identified in other references (such as in the book "Discover the Moon" on pg 84, a note that I had somehow missed earlier), but through this "program" I both learned of it and saw it first-hand.
So you, too, can be a lunatic and learn more of our satellite's features, and I hope the IWLOP will guide you along, as it is doing for me.
Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:30 PM
Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:48 PM
Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:57 PM
So if anyone is wonder about what they may wish to look at on our Moon after seeing craters Tycho and Copernicus, I suggest that you check into the IWLOP -- it is a free download in PDF format and you don't even have to submit anything/get the certificate. This program is more advanced than the 100-feature Astronomical League Lunar Program (which I have completed in a separate adventure).
Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:26 AM