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The Bonds: Pioneers of American Astronomy

Saturn's Encke Minima and Encke Division

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Moon Drawings and Observations

Here is a collection of some of my Moon drawings and observing reports I have made over the years. Note it does not include numerous observing reports and sketches that I have made since 1973.

I observed my first total lunar eclipse in the 1960's with the unaided eye.

Also in 1978 I purchased a C-90, and in addition to using it for observing I started to do astrophotography. This continued when I bought a C8 in 1980, and from the early to mid-1980's I did a lot of deep-sky astrophotography. So from 1978 to 1985 I still observed but did not make sketches during this time.

The first time I observed the Moon through a telescope was in 1973. The Jason 60mm achromatic refractor I owned at the time was not very good as it had terrible secondary color on bright objects, and the alt-az mount was not very stable. However it got me hooked on sketching.

My first observation of the Palus Somni (Marsh of Sleep) area was through the 60mm refractor and it did not seem to match its name as it appeared to be higher in elevation than Mare Crisium.

Here is one of the first sketches of the Moon I ever made. It is of the Palus Somni area. It was made using the Criterion RV-6 reflector in April 1976:

As in the 60mm refractor the Palus Somni area did not seem to match its name as it appeared to be higher in elevation than Mare Crisium. This was the same impression I had when I observed the area with other telescopes over the years. Even looking at lunar atlases did not seem to show it was a depression.

However in 1984 I purchased an AP 4" f/6 apo refractor. The telescope seemed to show more contrast than I had noted in other telescopes I had used, so lunar features showed more relief between them.

In early October, 1985 I spent several nights observing and making sketches of the Moon and Jupiter. The Moon had been at full stage a few days earlier.

In addition I took photographs of the Moon through the telescope.

Here is one photo I took during this time:

Although it was October the weather had been warm during the day but cooled down significantly at night. This produced some hazy skies and steady seeing conditions. Because of this the Moon and Jupiter took magnification well while they were higher in the sky. As they got lower in the sky the seeing deteriorated.

These conditions can produce also light ground fog, which is another indicator of steady seeing. Light ground fog usually indicates a very stable atmosphere. The first time I observed spokes in Saturn rings was when there was light ground fog

I noted that the lighting around the Palus Somni area was very good, since the Sun's rays were coming in at a low angle, and high features cast long shadows.

The combination of steady seeing conditions, a telescope that produced good contrast, and the lunar terminator being near Mare Crisium and helped to show that Palus Somni was indeed lower in elevation than Mare Crisium as shown below. After twelve years it was nice to have this particular mystery solved for me:

It is amazing how great observing sessions can live one in our fondness and wonder. In addition, because I took notes, photo's, and made sketches in 1985, when I read my log book today it as if the thirty years between 1985 and 2015 have melted away and I am back there again sitting next to the telescope. In times like this, it almost feels like time travel...

Moon and Saturn Observations, January 2003 (observing report)

Total Lunar Eclipse, November 8th/9th 2003 (observing report)

Deep-sky and lunar observations, August 6th - 7th, 2004 (observing report)

Occultation of Jupiter by the Moon, November 9th, 2004 (observing report)

Deep-sky, lunar and planetary observations, March 18th-19th, 2005 (observing report)

Moon, planets, and deep-sky observations, April 11th, 2005 (observing report)

Mars, the Moon, and deep-sky observations, May 5th, 2005 (observing report)

Mercury, Mars, Saturn, the Moon and deep-sky observations, August - September, 2005 (observing report)

Martian Dust Storm, Moon, and Saturn observations, October 20th, 2005 (observing report)

Mars, the Moon, and the Orion Nebula observations, November 13th, 2005 (observing report)

Moon, planets, and deep-sky observations, January, 2006 (observing report)

Perseid meteor shower and Lunar observations, August 12th 2006 (observing report)

Total Eclipse of the Moon, March 3rd, 2007 (observing report)

Jupiter, Vesta, Uranus, Mars, the Moon and deep-sky observations, September 3rd - 4th, 2007 (observing report)

Mars, Venus, Saturn, the Moon and deep-sky observations, October 8th, 2007 (observing report)

An observing report of Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon February 4th, 2008

An observing report of the recent Total Lunar Eclipse on was added March 17th, 2008 (observing report)

An observing report of the Moon and the Pleiades, March 20th, 2010 (observing report)

An observing report of the Moon and Jupiter, September 5th, 2010 (observing report)

Moon observations, April 17th, 2011 (observing report)

Venus occultation by the Moon December 26, 1978 (observing report)

Saturn occultation by the Moon, September 10, 2001(observing report)

July 6, 1982 and December 30, 1982 Total Lunar Eclipses (observing report)

Jupiter observations, August 31st, 1996 (observing report)

Moon, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, Mars and Saturn observations, December 22nd, 2011 (observing report)

Timeless Moon, January 10th, 2012 (observing report)

An observing report of the Moon, Venus and Jupiter, July 10th, 2012

The Moon, Venus, Jupiter, meteors, and constellation observations, August 14th, 2012 (observing report)

An observing report of Jupiter, the Moon, the Hyades star cluster and Aldebaran, December 25th, 2012

An observing report of the Moon, December 30th, 2014