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Which scope for lunar observing

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#1 mantrain

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 01:11 PM

I think I have avoided lunar observing because it's just so obvious, I have searched for more exotic DSOs.

Which scope would be better for lunar observing: my 8" SCT fully computerized, or my hand driven 16" Dob?

I am thinking the SCT is a shoe in bc it's motorized, but won't I get a lore more detail with the 16" hunk a glass?
Or will the constant movement be too bothersome.

Also, what is considered the best time of the month to view?

Any tips for a moon virgen to make it more interesting?

#2 craigLambert55

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 02:55 PM

Which scope would be better for lunar observing: my 8" SCT fully computerized, or my hand driven 16" Dob?

I would go with the driven scope.

Also, what is considered the best time of the month to view?

Around first quarter. It's well placed and you don't have to stay up late. Lots of shadows along the terminator as well.

#3 star drop

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 06:11 PM

Use either one. Try the same magnification with each telescope and pick your favorite. Constant movement doesn't bother me anywhere near as much as the poor seeing conditions in my area.

#4 desertstars

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 06:29 PM

What Ted said. Experiment, and see if one pleases you more than the other. I observe the Moon at various times with one of three scopes: 60mm refractor, 102mm refractor, or an 8" Newtonian. The Newt gives the most detailed views, but the refractors are a lot easier to set up and take down on a weary weekday night, when I just can't say "no" to the Moon. :grin:

#5 Rod

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 08:21 PM

I do very nicely with my 70mm f/10 refractor - if the seeing is right near first quarter I can get lovely views with my 6.3mm Plössl eyepiece. The moon works with any telescope!

#6 Ptarmigan

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 10:42 PM

Any scope will do. In your case, I would go with the motorized SCT. I use a 8 inch f/6 Newtonian to look at the Moon and it gives me spectacular views. The best time to look at the Moon is half Moon phase as you can see craters better.

#7 desertstars

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 10:48 PM

Any tips for a moon virgen to make it more interesting?


Buy a basic map and start by learning to recognize the larger, more prominent features. This is a good one:

http://www.shopatsky...he-Moon/maps...

#8 mantrain

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 12:01 AM

Thanks, rather than having to spend $ right now, are there any good internet sources with lunar maps? Or is it a 'get what you pay for' kinda thing?

#9 acr_astro

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 01:31 AM

Hi,

yes there are plenty of free online resources available. Here are just two for the beginning:

A map (JPG format) based on the LROC data with color coded topographic information can be found here: Maurice Collins Near Side Moon Map

And a good free lunar atlas is here:
Lunar Field Atlas

Achim

P.S: The S&T Field Map referenced in one of the posts above is really worth the money. I use it often at the telescope. But the printable free online resources would give you a good start as well.

#10 OrdinaryLight

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:09 AM

In addition to a map or atlas (I like the S&T field maps combined with an indoor reference atlas) a Lunar observing program will give you an organized list of subjects and focus your observing. I've been using the Isabel Williamson Lunar Observing Program with scopes from 72mm to 10" (it has some naked eye and binocular targets as well). There's a recent thread on the program here: http://www.cloudynig...Number/6247388/

#11 desertstars

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 07:25 PM

Thanks, rather than having to spend $ right now, are there any good internet sources with lunar maps? Or is it a 'get what you pay for' kinda thing?


There's also the Virtual Moon Atlas, a free download, which I should have thought of right off:

http://ap-i.net/avl/en/start

#12 azure1961p

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:47 PM

Both the 8" and the 16" will show an overload of details. The 16" however will need unusually good sky's to realize its full potential while the 8" will see its potential realized more often. Again however, both will reveal a grand amount of details. The 16" will show more ultimately but this would be in the finer details to be sure. Its there to be had - it's something a more seasoned observer would appreciate whose familiar with the finest details and appreciates the edge of double the angular resolution. For the average guy, 8" will keep you satisfied forever.

Pete

#13 mantrain

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 09:20 PM

What is it about the moon that grabs you all here?

See, I have forever been into (anyu maybe you guys also have) DSO's, galaxies and star clusters for the sheer amazement of distance away, plus, star- clusters are just so pretty.

#14 NeilMac

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 12:02 AM

The moon has lots of features to study, its like many galaxies in one place. I dont understand people that think the moon is boring. I find new interesting things and then keep focusing on that area to get better info.
The great wall is my latest target and got it last night finally.

#15 desertstars

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 01:52 PM

There are a lot of reasons I'm drawn to the Moon as an observer. Seeing actual landscapes on an alien world and the beautiful and intricate play of light and stark shadow are just two that come to mind right off. Sheer accessibility plays a role, too. How do you pass up such an easy target that can give you such amazing sights?

The Moon was my original astronomical interest, perhaps at least in part because I grew up during the space race, for which the Moon was the target. It was the first thing I studied using a telescope. I've never lost my interest in the Moon in all the years since.

#16 A6Q6

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 11:02 PM

DSO is just one slice of the pie, How about the Sun,planets, double stars and yes our Moon: http://www.cloudynig...d=pollution&...,, use a telescope that gives the sharpest view in good seeing.

#17 pdxmoon

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 01:11 AM

It's the kid in me: born into the golden age of NASA, the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. Always hoped I'd go to he moon. Through my scopes is the closest I'll get. I'd rather observe the moon than just about any other target.

#18 DJastronomer

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 03:32 PM

Hi!

I observe the moon with 90mm and 127mm Maks. The first one on Az3, the other on Eq-3. I do not find alt-az mount to be a problem when I observe the moon, even at fairly high powers.

I think that as long as the moon is high above the horizon, then it is a good time for observing it, regardless of phase. When the moon is a thin crescent it is fun to try to observe some major details that are lit by earthshine. During gibbous phase many cool craters can be observed ( Gassendi, Shickard, Wargentin). And during the fullmoon it is interesting to study the ray systems. And then of course we have first/ last quarter with their many showpieces.

#19 coopman

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 04:36 PM

The C8 with tracking should work great for lunar viewing. All of my mounts are alt-az, so I have to play the "nudge game" whenever I observe.

#20 Pinbout

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 09:06 PM

What is it about the moon that grabs you all here?



cause it goes round and round

:tonofbricks:

#21 cbwerner

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 09:31 PM

What is it about the moon that grabs you all here?

See, I have forever been into (anyu maybe you guys also have) DSO's, galaxies and star clusters for the sheer amazement of distance away, plus, star- clusters are just so pretty.


I once heard it said that there are two things to look at in the night sky: the landscapes of the Moon, and everything else. :cool:

#22 Rod

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 02:22 PM

If the moon was good enough for Sir Patrick Moore, it's good enough for me!

#23 star drop

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 04:38 PM

What is it about the moon that grabs you all here?

The moon reminds me of my road, full of hills, bumps and craters.

#24 Xxray

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 01:51 AM

Well I admit it would be better if the moon had bands of neon rings gravitating around it, or a giant red storm raging its equator for centuries ... But I am quite content for what it is, a fascinating celestial body whos existence is closely tied in with our own.

#25 dianen

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 04:05 PM

If you have an iPad or iPhone, there's a great app called Moon Globe by Midnight Martian. There's both a free version and a 99 cent HD version. It has a night vision mode, so I keep it right out there with me to refer to. Very accurate and useful. --Diane






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