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Recommendations for Lunar observations

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#1 alanl17

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 06:55 AM

Due to light pollution in the area where we will be moving to live, my main interest will be switching to the Moon. I have a 4” Vixen refractor.

I am looking for recommendations for a good book on lunar observation, perhaps detailing features to observe on a day to day (perhaps that should be night to night) basis as the terminator moves across the surface.
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#2 Physicsman

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 08:07 AM

Hi Alan.

 

There are a fair number of lunar guides available, and what suits you depends on your level of experience.

 

I would strongly recommend:

 

Observing the Moon by Gerald North 

Discover the Moon by Lacroux and Legrand

The Moon Observer's Handbook by Price

 

These are readily available from Thrift/ABE outlets if you can't get New copies.

 

 

 

Patrick Moore On the Moon 

The Moon and How to Observe It by Peter Grego

or the Moon Observer's Guide by Grego

 

are readily available.

 

These should get you started. I could add more and my fellow Lunatics on here probably will.

 

Get yourself a decent Moon Atlas:

 

21st Century Atlas of the Moon by Wood

Duplex Moon Atlas by Stoyan

Atlas of the Near Side of the Moon by Fredrick toe Laer ( "Astronomy Fred" on Cloudy Nights)

 

should be useful.


Edited by Physicsman, 03 April 2024 - 08:09 AM.

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#3 LIVE LONG

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 08:34 AM

All the books mentioned by Physicsman are excellent. 

 

 Discover The Moon by Lacroux & Legrand, should be first on your list. I consider it to be mandatory reading for anyone getting started observing the moon. I still use this book after five years of Lunar observing. It's that good!


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#4 Physicsman

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 08:47 AM

All the books mentioned by Physicsman are excellent. 

 

 Discover The Moon by Lacroux & Legrand, should be first on your list. I consider it to be mandatory reading for anyone getting started observing the moon. I still use this book after five years of Lunar observing. It's that good!

Agree - it should be mandatory!

 

It fits the bill for Alan as it works its way through the lunation on a day-by-day basis. Well illustrated, and it's CHEAP! :-)


Edited by Physicsman, 03 April 2024 - 09:27 AM.

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#5 alanl17

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Posted 03 April 2024 - 12:42 PM

Many thanks.

Alan

#6 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 06:05 AM

I'd add the most comprehensive book that exists on the topic: Luna Cognita (3 volumes, 1680 pages, 2020). It's a reference book rather than a telescope-side book due to its size. I bought the PDF version at one of the periodic sales that Springer has. 

 

I wouldn't start with it since the sheer amount of information can be overwhelming, but if you want to go deeper, that's the book to have.


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#7 jcj380

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 02:27 PM

I have a copy of Atlas of the Lunar Terminator, but it was rather pricey and I use my Clementine orbiter atlas much more.



#8 Physicsman

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Posted 04 April 2024 - 05:55 PM

Yes, the Westfall Atlas of the Lunar Terminator is pricey.

 

It also uses imagery that has poor resolution by modern standards.

 

I'm glad I bought a copy - for the collection (!!) - but I'd never use it as a primary lunar atlas.

 

Alan, if you're still reading this. DO fork out the cash for a set of Luna Cognita. There's enough content in there to keep you occupied with the Moon for years!


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#9 jcj380

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 12:38 PM

I downloaded a Kindle copy of "Moongazing: Beginner's Guide..."  this morning, just to see what it's all about.

 

The maps (16 total) seem to have good resolution, better than some iPhone moon apps I have.  It doesn't indicate A, B, C, and so on subcraters, but I have my Clementine atlas for that. It's cheap enough that I might buy a paper copy to add to the collection.


Edited by jcj380, 05 April 2024 - 12:38 PM.

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#10 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 05 April 2024 - 05:01 PM

Also for the OP: you can get the Isabel Williamson Lunar Observing Program guide free of charge from here. Here's a random entry so you get an idea of the contents.

 

iw.png


Edited by RazvanUnderStars, 05 April 2024 - 05:02 PM.

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#11 AstronomyFred

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Posted 06 April 2024 - 12:41 AM

Hi Alan,

 

On the subject of Luna Cognita, I can only confirm what the previous gentlemen have said; this is an amazing resource for all lunar observing!

 

You will not take this book with you to the telescope, but you will find answers to most of your questions and a million more, in this set of three books.

 

Clear skies!

 

Fred


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#12 desertstars

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Posted 06 April 2024 - 11:08 AM

To the above excellent recommendations I can add:

 

Craters of the Near Side Moon by John Moore

 

Features of the Near Side Moon by John Moore

 

And if you can track down copies of these classics (sadly, out of print):

 

Atlas of the Moon by Antonin Rukl

 

The Modern Moon: A Personal View by Charles A. Wood


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#13 Physicsman

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Posted 06 April 2024 - 01:00 PM

Alan, if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the suggested literature then welcome to the club (and there's plenty more).

 

For initial observations, one of the first batch of suggestions may suffice - along with a good Moon atlas.

 

Thomas's suggestions are excellent. Rukl's Moon atlas is a masterpiece of hand-drawn cartography. Expensive but well worth it for perusing indoors away from the eyepiece.

 

Chuck Wood's book is my favourite Lunar text, blending a detailed tour of the Near side with the perspective of an experienced lunar seleno(geo)logist. Quite superb!

 

Please let us know which books you end up with.


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