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"The Sea Snake of Serenity"

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#1 Orion92

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 07:51 AM

Good morning all!

 

It is quite a rarity for me to be able to observe the waning gibbous Moon due to having to be awake at odd hours to do so, however, being a weekend day and not having to work the next day (yay!) made it possible to observe the Moon and Mars earlier this morning. The pair was quite striking, separated only by less than a degree! I spent some time observing Mars but was struggling a bit making out the delicate details with the poor transparency we had from rain earlier in the night. At about 6:30 UTC I moved on to the Moon. There was a feature in eastern Mare Serenitatis that instantly caught my eye. The thin, winding lunar ridges span from nearly Plinius to Posidonius, >300 km, and appeared almost 3D-like due to the close approach of the Terminator and the Sun beginning to set for this feature/casting shadows to add depth. In the eyepiece, this feature reminded me of a sea serpent winding its' way through the water. I gave the feature a nickname "The Sea Snake of Serenity" as that is what it reminds me of so much.

 

This morning I reviewed my Rukl Atlas of the Moon to properly identify the feature. On map No. 24, I learned that my sea snake is actually comprised of two features, Dorsa Lister (runs North from Plinius to about half the length of the feature), and Dorsa Smirnov (the Northern half). Dorsa I have learned means system of wrinkle ridges, and Dorsum is a wrinkle ridge. I am still a novice lunar observer, but have added these two types of features to my geographical lunar toolbox so to speak. 

 

Part of what makes lunar observing so fun for me is the constantly changing appearances of all the features due to the shadow details. I attached a photo of the feature through my eyepiece at 350X along with a photo of map No 24 from my Rukl atlas for you to see.

 

Have you seen this feature before in similar conditions? What were your thoughts? 

 

Are there any other Dorsa that impress you? If so, I would like to hear your recommendations on which ones I should check out next!

 

Clear, steady skies,

 

Kyle

Attached Thumbnails

  • Sea Snake of Serenity.jpg
  • Rukl map 24.jpg

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#2 jrkirkham

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 03:41 PM

Thanks for the entertaining and informational report.



#3 Orion92

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 03:50 PM

You bet!



#4 NorthernlatAK

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 04:58 PM

It's also known as the serpentine ridge.
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#5 Orion92

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 06:28 PM

It's also known as the serpentine ridge.

That’s cool, thanks for sharing. I guess I’m not the only one that this feature looks like a snake!



#6 sunnyday

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 08:28 PM

very nice , thanks .



#7 payner

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Posted 15 August 2020 - 11:26 AM

Enjoyed reading your report. I was in that region observing during July waning phase. So much to see in that region. But while not a beginner in amateur astronomy, a beginner with the moon.

 

Regards,



#8 doolsduck

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Posted 15 August 2020 - 05:30 PM

Nice shot. The term Dorsa and Dorsum are a bit vague. Mostly they do mean the plural and singular respectively as you wrote in your OP, but sometimes not. See https://the-moon.us/wiki/Dorsum. Cheers


Edited by doolsduck, 15 August 2020 - 05:52 PM.



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