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Have you visually observed the Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins craters?

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#1 aa6ww

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 04:17 PM

I was reading an article in Sky and telescope and they state that one can observe these 3 craters with a 6" telescope under favorable seeing conditions.

Has anyone ever observed these 3 craters, and if so, what telescope and magnifications did you use, if you can remember?

 

http://andrewplanck....-11-astronauts/

 

Seems like some fun targets to observe when the moon is out.

 

.....Ralph

 

 

 


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#2 Asbytec

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 04:36 PM

You can absolutely observe the Three Astronauts in a 6" aperture, along with Sabine C and the Cat's Paw crater, as well...the closest to teh Apollo 11 Landing site. It does require good seeing. 

 

https://www.cloudyni...56417_thumb.jpg

 

I show Collins (upper right) and Aldrin (center bottom) in the sketch below. Armstrong is off the sketch and is easiest of the three. Sabine C is near center and the Cat's Paw is the top of the three. 

 

cat paw.jpg


Edited by Asbytec, 18 June 2019 - 04:41 PM.

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#3 NorthernlatAK

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 04:41 PM

Under good seeing using an 8" f5.9 dob @ 266× magnification I can see these and the cats paw. I imagine I'd be able to do it with a 6" as well, as it was not too difficult in the 8". But seeing is the limiting factor usually as there are times I cannot see it in my scope. Steady seeing is the key.
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#4 astrochef

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 05:04 PM

My one "successful" observation of the Apollo 11 site was a night of fairly poor seeing.  Visually, Armstrong and Aldrin were easy but Collins was in and out in fleeting glimpses.

The whole region is fun to observe too, but being able to view this historic site is, well... Just Cool.

I was using the 10" dob at around 150-190x.  The Moon was still fairly low in the sky but I really wanted to give it a go that night.

The a-focal cell phone pic that I took isn't great.  It's a place holder in my "Apollo sites" gallery till I can get a better one.  It's a stacked image from a video of around 10 seconds. I'm still hopeful that I can score one that resolves all three craters.  Armstrong shows clearly, Aldrin is there if you really try to see it, but the phone just wouldn't pick out Collins.

I've never tried with the 4" achro, but I would think you should have success with a 6" in decent conditions.

Good luck.  Hope you have better weather than I've been having lately.

I'll throw in my pic just for fun.

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#5 ww321q

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 05:51 PM

It would be a good night for me to be able to see those in my 6" f8 reflector. I was using the Moon Trek site to measure those. My best viewing was a  about 2km crater. I'll check them out tonight for sure. 



#6 frank5817

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 05:59 PM

Yes, with all my scopes 6 inches and larger.

It is a good exercise.

 

Frank :)


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#7 aa6ww

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 06:18 PM

Great news from all of you. I have a 6" APM 152ED and its a great scope for sharp details. As soon as the timing is right, I'll start looking. One article said its easier to see all 3 craters a week or so after a new moon so the shadows are the strongest.  I thought Id try my C11 but maybe the big refractor is all I need.

 

Thanks again!

 

 

...Ralph



#8 mich_al

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 06:35 PM

They are tough, best to try when the terminator is near and seeing is good.


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#9 Special Ed

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 10:10 PM

A very good challenge for this 50th anniversary.  I've seen Armstrong and Aldrin at 254x with my C8 but not Collins.  Seeing was 7/10 Pickering but transparency had intermittent high, thin clouds.  Lunation was Day 19.



#10 Certochrom

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 07:42 AM

Have seen Armstrong twice in a Japanese made 80/1200 refractor at 171x. But I have never seen any trace of the other two with this instrument.

 

Michael



#11 Ericcurry

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 10:01 PM

A month ago during one of my moon viewing sessions I was looking at the location of the three astronaut creaters.  I could definitely see the Armstrong creater, the the 2 others come into and out of sharpness.  It's a challenge unless the seeing is really great.  Sometimes I think I see all 3 but it might just be in my head.   I have found that having a field guide to the moon is helpful.  Also, I have configured screen shots onto my iPad with the images flipped ( but the main label corrected )so they match the view in my eyepiece of the scope.  It is very helpful.  I have included a screen shot of Apollo 16 landing site to give you an idea of how useful it is.

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  • APOLLO 16  .jpeg

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#12 Tom Glenn

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 03:45 PM

Phil Harrington recently published an article in his column on Cloudy Nights that addresses this specific challenge.  You can read more details about viewing this area in Phil's column here:

 

https://www.cloudyni...d-collins-r3196

 

As Phil mentions in his article, I have posted images of the Apollo 11 site in the past.  Although the view you will get visually will be much more challenging than what you can see in images, my original post on the Apollo 11 site may prove helpful in finding landmarks in the region.  We have already passed the optimal time to see the region while the Moon is waxing this month, but you can still have a look in the early morning hours around July 21, 2019 while the gibbous Moon is waning. 

 

https://www.cloudyni...1-landing-site/


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#13 barbie

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 10:49 PM

Have seen Armstrong and Aldrin in my 4" apo at 250X under excellent seeing. I haven't seen Collins.


Edited by barbie, 11 July 2019 - 10:53 PM.


#14 aa6ww

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 11:13 AM

I spend the last week looking deep into the details of the Aopllo 11 landing site, searching on the web for photos and then trying my luck and finding this location with a few of my telescopes. I started off last week thinking I'd casually search for this area with my new AT-92 I just picked up on July 9th, seven days past the new moon. As impressive as this scope is, I just didn't have favorable seeing conditons in addition to not having tracking on my light weight CG-4. Seeing was never better then 3/5 as noted on my local Clear Sky Clock web site. 

I was convinced this area was still hidden under the shadows and not even visible, despite all the web sites stating otherwse, I never pushed my small triplet harder then  75x, since it was my first night with my new scope and I was just enjoying how impressive it was both optically and mechanically.

I tried to convince another astronomer friend that the site was still in the shadows and all the web sites were incorrect about when was the best time to see this site. He was skeptical as to what I said since he was interested in searching for this site also. 

 

The following day, July 10, eight days past the new moon, I tried again with my new AT-92, this time I had my Vixen mount set up with tracking. Also, I inserted my big barlow into the focuser draw tube then my diagonal, then using my eyepeices, I was running at about 3x the magnification on all of all my eyepiece, pushing the focal length to about 1500mm at just over F/16. 

The scope handled the extra focal length easily, so I started again searching for the site. I got as far as locating the surrounding craters, specifically, Theophilus, and then tried to walk over to some of the smaller known craters. 

Clouds were in and out, and at times, the moon was completely covered but I noticed this was going to be harder then I thought. The Photos I was using and the reverse images I was seeing in my eyepiece were not easy to follow. Struggling with this area of the sky due to some overhead clouds, I again gave up for the night on the moon. 

 

The next few days were too cloudy but finally, last night was clear so I tried my luck again, this time with my larger Skywatcher 120ED, again using my Vixen mount with tracking. Despite the seeing conditions being listed again as 3/5 from my local Clear Sky Clock, the conditions just seems slightly more stable. 

Being more familiar with this area now, I found Theophilus right away and began walking up my magnification higher and higher until I was at nearly 250x using my 3.7 Stellarvue Optimus 110 deg eyepiece. The 110 degs eyepiece was a real blessing, giving me plenty of field of view so i wasnt struggling to find my place.  I could seeing the effects of less then ideal seeing condions, where the view would  completely loose focus, then come back. My 10:1 microfocuser really helped, and also, I really dialed in the polar alignment were tracking was absolutely dead on accurate.

 I found Craters Sabine and Ritter, after about an hr, again after struggling with the reverse view I was seeing in my eyepiece verses what my photos  were showing. I also had my Lunar Atlas out but the photos I saved from the web on my smart phone were really all I needed. 

I then found crater Moltke, it was there but the focus was difficult to hold. At times however, the clairity was excellent and the details just jumped right out at me, so positioned my chair where i was comfortable and just stared into the eyepiece with my hand controller and started walking over to where Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were.

After maybe 10 minutes, Armstrong came into view. Maybe the seeing conditions were improving, but once I saw it, It was always there. I could not make out Aldrin or Collins. I played with the focus and stared for a while. then Aldrin started coming in. It was in and out at best, but it was definately there. I bumped up the magnification to 327x. Armstrong and Aldrin were still there. I stared endlessly for Collins but I couldnt see it. I was convinced if the seeing conditions were better, it would have come into view. Nevertheless, for last night. I could not see it.

 

I had my C8 out with me also, so I replaced my 120SW with my C8. The C8 was out for hrs also, so it was already acclimated to the outside conditions. Immediately I noticed the resolution increase using my C8. This is the newest model with the XLT coatings but the black model, not the Edge HD. 

Using my 1.25 TV everbright diagonal and walking up the maginfication, I stopped at my 8.8 ES 82 degs 1.25" eyepiece (236x.)  I again found craters Sabine and Ritter. The resolution increase was immediately obvious in the C8, despite the much touted "pristine" optics of the SW120ED APO. 

 

Armstrong came into view as well as Aldrin. I stared at the area where Collins was and I saw something there. Something was definately there. After a few minutes, it became obvious I was seeing Collins. I inserted my 6.7mm 82 degs ES eypiece, (310x) did a quick focus, and there it was, just as obvious as Armstrong and Aldrin. At times, the clairity was excellent, when the seeing was more steady. At times, it was as if I was looking at a completely new area when the seeing was better.

 

The focuser on my C8 is just excellent. There was no noticible image shift at all, even at 310x. and the entire field of view was excellent. 

As for last night, it was pretty fun searching for and finding the Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins craters just a short distance from where our Apollo 11 astronauts landed. Its a nice celebration for me to do this, commenerating that historical event, and also thinking back when I was pretty young, with my 60mm Tasco, also looking at the moon with my brothers and sisters and parents all involved with me since I was the youngest, and the science nerd in the family, even back then. 

 

I hope others make the effort to try this out also. Its pretty exciting even today, sharing this with my wife and family now, just days from the big 50 year aniversary of this historical event that seemed to have shaped so many of our lives. 

 

Ralph in Sacramento.

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  • c8 on moom.JPG

Edited by aa6ww, 13 July 2019 - 11:22 AM.

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#15 JimP

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 06:10 PM

6FF29D6E-C9C5-4B0F-9DF5-B6C7DC374F3D.jpeg

 

April 12, 1989

Astro-Physics 6” F/12 apo.

 

Jim

 

 


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#16 aa6ww

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 03:10 PM

Does anyone know what the distance is between the Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins craters, or, the distance from the Apollo 11 Landing site to the Collins crater?

...Ralph

#17 Tom Glenn

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 03:49 PM

Does anyone know what the distance is between the Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins craters, or, the distance from the Apollo 11 Landing site to the Collins crater?

...Ralph

To answer this question, you can make use of one of the best tools available on the web at the following website, which gives you an interactive map constructed with LRO data.

 

https://quickmap.lroc.asu.edu/

 

Using the menu icons on the left, you can turn on nomenclature, as well as make measurements between any two points, as well as get elevation profiles, coordinates, etc.  Shown below in this screen grab (slightly brightened for posting but otherwise straight from the website) is the distance between the Apollo 11 site and the center of Collins (approximately 20km).  I will leave you to the other measurements.  You can spend hours working with this map.  

 

Apollo11.jpg


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#18 aa6ww

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 12:16 PM

Thanks for this information, this is basically what I was looking for. I was telling my wife I could see craters near where the Apollo 11 landed but I didn't know how far away it was from their landing site. At least now I know, thank you.

...Ralph

To answer this question, you can make use of one of the best tools available on the web at the following website, which gives you an interactive map constructed with LRO data.
 
https://quickmap.lroc.asu.edu/
 
Using the menu icons on the left, you can turn on nomenclature, as well as make measurements between any two points, as well as get elevation profiles, coordinates, etc.  Shown below in this screen grab (slightly brightened for posting but otherwise straight from the website) is the distance between the Apollo 11 site and the center of Collins (approximately 20km).  I will leave you to the other measurements.  You can spend hours working with this map.  
 
attachicon.gif Apollo11.jpg



#19 bmurphy495

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Posted Yesterday, 02:19 AM

I just came in from observing with my 8" f5.9 Dob. I pushed it pretty hard with a 3.5mm Vixen SSW (343X) and was unable to see any of them. The Ritter & Sabine crater complex was beautiful as was the Moltke crater. Might have been better if the Sun was in a different position.

 

B



#20 Tom Glenn

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Posted Yesterday, 03:05 AM

I just came in from observing with my 8" f5.9 Dob. I pushed it pretty hard with a 3.5mm Vixen SSW (343X) and was unable to see any of them. The Ritter & Sabine crater complex was beautiful as was the Moltke crater. Might have been better if the Sun was in a different position.

 

B

Yes, right now there is very little contrast in the area.  Two days from now would be an ideal time to attempt viewing.  


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#21 Jhardin

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Posted Yesterday, 06:02 AM

i found this post very interesting, thanks for sharing.




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