Moon observing Fairbanks, AK, USA 2023-12-01 (publ. 2023-12-02)

The skies were clear yesterday morning (December 1st) but I didn't have enough time to travel to the boat launch before work. So instead I decided to spend some time observing the moon out in the front yard. I pulled out PowerSeeker 127EQ reflector this time.

I don't use the PowerSeeker very much because the pointing scope is pretty much useless, due to the awkward positioning of it on the telescope tube. But the moon is easy to find without the pointing scope, just by following changes in brightness. Something else that was a bit frustrating is there is something wrong with the light transmission, such that the image is blurry if I look directly down into the eyepiece — any eyepiece. If I angle my eye towards the edge of eyepiece, it becomes clear again, but I lose a lot of FOV. So I'll have to figure out what is going on there. I didn't think this model required collimation but could be wrong about that. Afterwards, I wondered if maybe I just needed to adjust the screws for the eyepiece mount, but I haven't had a chance to try that yet.

Here is a Stellarium screenshot reproducing my view. Note that the view is flipped both horizontally and vertically.

Stellarium reproduction of moon view (entire moon)

I was particularly intrigued by some crater shadows I saw around the SW area of the terminator line. Stellarium does not reproduce them well, but this roughly centers on the area, anyway:

Stellarium reproduction of moon view (feature area)

I had a lot of difficulty trying to match up what I remembered looking at with specific craters, and I am still uncertain. But I think it was roughly in the 45 E 45 S area.

Kmarble Lunar Screenshot

I have an atlas I checked out from the library, the Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Near Side of the Moon — Charles Byre, 2005. It is a useful book that provides all the photographs from Lunar Orbiter Mission 4. I used that in conjunction with the Unified Geological Map of the Moon.

Unified Geologic Map of the Moon, 1:5M, 2020

I'm not sure if it is the same feature I was looking at, but there are some interesting craters in that area including Brenner, Metius, Fabricius, and the somewhat buried Janssen.

Lunar Orbiter 4 frame 4071H2

Something that is helpful is that all the Lunar orbiter mission photos are available on the Internet, if you know how to pull them up by frame number. Here are the photos for frame 4071

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