The Moon - Astronomers Love-Hate Relationship with Luna

If weather permits, many astronomers will schedule their observation night tonight.

Why, you ask? Well, the answer is simple– the Moon will be in the New Moon phase.

It is no secret that astronomers love observing the Moon. We can see a lot of images and pictures of moons from astrophotographers and astronomers alike. It is undeniable that the Moon is one of astronomy enthusiasts’ favorite subjects. Afterall, the Moon is rich with features.

There are impact craters on its surface. One of the most popular ones is the Tycho crater. This crater was named after Tycho Brahe and it is one of the most prominent features of the Moon. There are also other features of the Moon that can only be seen on exact periods on the Moon’s phase. A great example would be Lunar X and Lunar V which can only be seen for about four hours around the First Quarter phase.
Aside from craters, the Moon is also famous for its mares. Mares refer to the darker parts of the Moon. The word “mare” originated from Latin, which means “sea”. These parts of the Moon are said to be at a lower elevation.

No matter how beautiful Luna is, when it is in a Full Moon, the Moon’s illumination can be too bright. Astronomers usually use aperture reducers on their telescopes when observing the Moon during this time. This is because the Moon’s light can cause too much strain on the eyes when observing for long periods of time.

Furthermore, this makes it harder to observe all other objects in the sky besides the Moon. This is why, as mentioned earlier, astronomy enthusiasts tend to schedule their observational nights away from the Full Moon and closer to the New Moon.

The New Moon is a phase of the Moon when it is seemingly invisible from our view. During this time, the side of the Moon that is in the shadow faces the Earth. This makes it easier to observe deep sky objects.

Regardless of whether you love or you hate the Moon, it is a fact that the Moon plays an important role in our lives. It is tidally locked to the Earth and responsible for the tides we experience. Without the Moon, life, as we know it, may not exist.

What about you? Do you love the Moon or do you hate it? Have you tried the 3D feature of Stellarium Mobile?

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