Gibbous Moon With Sinus Iridum Detail

Gibbous Moon
Moon – Gibbous With Sinus Iridum Detail
By Mark Seibold

Technical Information regarding sketch:

A 19″ X 25″ pastel sketch [with the moons disc drawn at 12 ¾”] on black Strathmore Artagain pastel paper with use of various soft to hard pastel chalks on December 26th 2009 at 5UT ~ 9UT, partly produced from direct eyepiece observation over 2 to 3 hours, then finished indoors with photos taken from the eyepiece to produce a detailed close-up of the Sinus Iridum feature at the terminator. An artists conception was added at bottom as a final touch for a total work time of 4 ~ 5 hours. Observation was through my 10.1 inch f/4.5 Newtonian telescope with use of 32mm, 12mm, 9.7mm Super Plossls and 6mm Orthoscopic eyepieces. Ambient outdoor temperature in the 750 ft elevation foothills, west of the Cascades and Mount Hood, 30 miles east of Portland Oregon was approximately 34 degrees F. Wind gusting to 20 ~ 30 mph and subsiding to still at times.

*A slightly higher quality image may be viewed at

On the plain at Hadley

Hadley Rille

Hadley Rille and Surroundings
By Peter Mayhew

For a lunar observer, seeking out the Apollo landing sites is an inevitable pilgrimage. The easiest, and most rewarding, site to locate is the Apollo 15 site at Hadley Rille on the edge of the Apennine mountains.

On the evening of 22nd April, the sky suddenly cleared just as I was about ready for bed, so I changed plans and took out the scope for a gaze at a crystal clear day 8 moon. Seeing was excellent, and lighting conditions were just right for picking out the Apollo 15 site features.

I tried hard to locate St George crater, which is on the tip of Mons Hadley Delta, was one of the Apollo 15 sampling site targets, and is visible in a small telescope, but I only got unsure brief suggestions of it; perhaps the sun angle wasn’t quite right for this. However I could see the rille itself easily, and several mountains and hills photographed by Scott and Irwin from the lunar surface, as well as Silver Spur, on the flank of Hadley Delta. The “x” marks the landing site.

For comparison, here are some links to photographs of these features taken from the surface.

Landing site panorama. Here Mons Hadley is on the left and Hadley Delta just right of centre.

Mons Hadley

Mons Hadley Delta

Silver Spur

Hadley Rille

Bennett Hill

Hill 305.

Object name: Hadley Rille, Mons Hadley, Mons Hadley Delta, Hadley C, Apollo 15 landing site.

Object type: Lunar rille, lunar crater, lunar mountains

Location: York, UK

Date: 22nd April 2010

Media: graphite pencil on white paper

Instrument: Skywatcher Skyliner 152mm f8 Dobsonian with 10mm e.p. and x2 Barlow.

Shadows of the Lunar Caucasus Mountains

Caucasus Mountains
Shadows of the Lunar Caucasus Mountains
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

On Tuesday evening I thought I may spend some time observing Mars and perhaps make a sketch if the seeing was good enough to move to high power. Before pointing my scope at Mars I decided to take a quick look at the moon to see if there was anything interesting going on such as light rays of sunlight illuminating and creeping across the floor of a large crater. I soon forgot about Mars and raced indoors to switch sketching media. I know I can sketch twice as fast using white on black and speed is what I needed to capture the quick changing scene along the terminator. What I spotted was the dramatic shadows of the Caucasus Mountain peaks across the floor of Mare Imbrium. I quickly drew on the black Canson paper a faint, white Conte’ pastel meandering line right at the western edge of the Caucasus mountains and roughly outlined the shape of the shadows before any change in length occurred. At this point I felt I could continue sketching in the normal manner. Craters at the bottom of the drawing such as Cassini were not as light struck when I started this sketch as they appear here since I sketched top to bottom. It took about 75 minutes to complete the basic rendering and I spent an additional 15 minutes cleaning smudges and erasing mistakes that were obvious to me.

Mare Serenitatis is the southeastern illuminated region of the sketch. Over to the terminator on the western side of the view are the two “C” shaped craters Autolycus and Aristillus. Among the shadows in the middle of the sketch is crater Theaetetus and directly below the last long shadow is part of crater Cassini and some of the peaks of the lunar Alps.

I had some fun with this one.

See Rükl- Atlas of the Moon Plates 12 and 13


For this sketch I used: Black Canson sketching paper, 9”x 12”, White and black Conte’ pencils, a blending stump, plastic eraser. After scanning, contrast was increased (+1) using the scanner.

Telescope: 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian and 9mm eyepiece 161x
Date: 4-21-2010, 2:00 – 3:15 UT
Temperature: 15° C (49° F)
clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Co-longitude: 355°
Lunation: 6.6 days
Illumination: 42.7 %

Observing Location:
+41°37′ +87° 47′
Oak Forest, Il.

Frank McCabe

Shield of confusion

Aristarchus Plateau

The Aristarchus plateau
Sketch and Details by Peter Mayhew
Hover cursor over sketch to view labels.

A lovely bright day 12 moon hung in the southern sky just before and after sunset. The terminator was just to the west of the Aristarchus plateau. Having saved and saved this for sketching for months, I gave in and did it. The clouds kept rolling across the moon interrupting me; first low thick stuff, and later high foggy stuff. But by 9.30pm I had got most of the visible features on paper. It wasn’t the best night for seeing, but was tolerable. The plateau is a volcanic shield about 200km square, in the North West of the Ocean of Storms. It breaks all sorts of lunar records; the brightest crater (Aristarchus), the longest sinuous rille (Vallis Schroteri), the most coloured spot “Wood’s spot” (the shield itself). Aristarchus itself appears bright white, especially the area to the east. Surrounding the ejecta slopes is a dark melt band, and then rays can be seen extending east, north and south. The crater itself has a central hill and a dark band surrounding that, as well as darker bands on the western crater wall. North-East is the ghost crater Prinz. Herodotus is an older, flooded crater, which seems on initial inspection to be the source of Schroter’s valley; the view is deceptive because of the notch in its northern wall and the dark surrounding land. The valley itself is sufficiently broad to distinguish either wall, and winds first north, then west and finally south, narrowing as it goes. The north-west of the shield is guarded by the long mountain chain Montes Agricola. Mons Herodotus lies to its south. The western area near the terminator is crossed by wrinkle ridges. The area is so complex that it was a real struggle to take in all the detail that was there: for this reason I’ve dubbed it the “shield of confusion”. I suspect another visit with better seeing conditions will bring out new features.

The sketch was graphite pencil on white paper, done at the eyepiece. Instrument: Skywatcher Skyliner 150mm f8 Dobsonian, 10mm e.p. plus x2 Barlow.

Goldschmidt Rays and the Moon’s North Limb

Plato, Goldschmidt and Northern Limb
Sketch and Details by Deirdre Kelleghan

February 28th / March 1st 2010 23:20 UT – 00 :35 UT
200 mm Dobsonian Telescope FL 1,200
8mm TVP eyepiece = 150X
Goldschmidt rays and the Moons North limb

South is up in this sketch because that is the way I viewed it and sketched it. Pastels & Conte on black paper.

Our beautiful Snow moon was 99 .9 % drenched in the suns light when I went observing on the last day in February 2010. Along the NW limb several craters were on view in the libration zone, it was my intention to make a sketch of these elusive features. They presented on the limb as dark deep long shadows edged with sharp bright lines against the blackness of space.

However while these were interesting, my eye was magnetized toward the brightness of Goldschmidt and its ejecta rays, giving great form to the area. Several of these long dark lines were also on view on the edge of the limb close to Goldschmidt and Herschel . It was so visually interesting to observe the contrasts on the limb when the moon was so full, a black and white merry dance of slow movement and rich structure.

Plato never looked so dark and flat ,its black floor absorbing the suns light when most of the surrounding area was throwing it toward my eye. I adored the tiny pure white rim sections singing in the light. My sketch wandered across part of Mare Frigoris , the area around Plato and includes part of Mons Teneriffe .

Deirdre Kelleghan
Vice Char IFAS
Outreach IFAS
National Coordinator Astronomers Without Borders Ireland .

An Early Morning with Sinus Iridum

Sinus Iridum
Sinus Iridum
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

In the waning moonlight the shadows of the Jura mountain peaks could be seen on the floor of Sinus Iridum. On this mid-August night I was experiencing and enjoying a full night observing and sketching. The moon occupied my time during the second half of this session all the way to sunrise. It was one of the rare nights with cool dry air and great seeing conditions.
Sinus Iridum (260km.) is what remains of the Upper Imbrium impact on the floor of the Sea of Showers. The dark basaltic lava floor with its wrinkled ridges could be clearly seen as the sunset shadow was approaching. Several notable and recognizable features could be seen and included Promontorium Heraclides at the southwestern end of the crater rim arc over to Promontorium Laplace on the northeastern side. Old craters Mairan (40 km.), Sharp (40 km.), Bianchini (38 km.), were all clearly seen and sketched as well as the younger impact scars of Harpalus (39 km.) and Bauguer (22 km.), with ancient Mare Frigoris (Lower Imbrium) beyond the remains of the ejecta of Sinus Iridum. Much of dorsum Zirkel (216 km.) and dorsum Heim (134 km.) could be seen paralleling the terminator at the lower end of the sketch.
I was pleased I did not miss this fine evening for observing and sketching at the telescope.


For this sketch I used: black Canson paper 9″x 12″, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils , and Conte’crayons, a blending stump, plastic and gum erasers. Brightness was decreased -2 using the scanner for this sketch
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian with 9mm (161x) eyepiece
Date: 8-15-2009 10:00-11:20 UT
Temperature: 16°C (60°F)
Clear , calm
Seeing: Antoniadi II
Co longitude 206.3°
Lunation days 24.3
Illumination 32.1%

Lunar Trio

Wolf Crater
Wolf Crater

Montes Harbinger
Montes Harbinger

Schiller Crater
Schiller Crater

Sketches and Details by Dale Holt

I have assembled three sketches made at my hand over the Christmas holiday. The first caught my eye because of its shape under the illumination on the evening of observation. It struck me how it looks like a ‘love heart’ I later researched and found that this worn and likely flooded feature? Was Wolf no longer a Wolf’s den! But in my sketch perhaps a Wolf’s heart?

The second of my sketches, and personal favourite of the three is of the magnificent mountain range, Montes Harbinger, I was drawn by the brightly illuminated peaks and anthracite black, jagged and far reaching shadows reminiscent of the angry wood hungry teeth of an old rip saw!

Finally for the of my trio, completed last night it depicts the giant foot print of Schiller, seeing was good and detail plentiful, a wonderful way to spend an hour.

I hope these trio find favour with you? Drawn using my 6″ refractor in all cases & rendered with pastel & watercolour pencils upon black artist paper.

Happy New Year, Dale

Crater Euclides and Montes Riphaeus

Crater Euclides and Montes Riphaeus

Crater Euclides and Montes Riphaeus
Sketch and details by Frank McCabe

In southern Oceanus Procellarum not far from mare Cognitum you can locate a bright little Copernican era crater that formed after the last of the dark lava had solidified. This little 12 kilometer crater wearing the bright ejecta blanket is Euclides. The bright ejecta makes it easy to pick out at high sun and with a little bit of shadow and high magnification the nearby Riphaeus mountains also show some fine relief. In the upper left of the sketch note the front range of these mountains which date back 4 billion years. These mountains are likely the remains of a very large crater rim that was not completely buried in the lava flooding. Other similar sized and smaller craters in the region also reveal some bright ejecta betraying their young ages. To learn more read the LPOD caption for May 24, 2006.


For this sketch I used: black Canson paper 10″x 12″, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils , and Conte’crayons, a blending stump, plastic and gum erasers. Brightness was decreased -2 and contrast increased +2 using the scanner for this sketch
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian with 6mm (241x) eyepiece
Date: 11-28-2009 4:15-5:40 UT
Temperature: 0°C (32°F)
Clear becoming partly cloudy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi II -III
Co longitude 44°
Lunation 11.4 days
Illumination 80.7%

Frank McCabe

Sinus Iridium Ejecta and Beyond

Sinus Iridium Ejecta and Beyond

Lunar craters Mairan, Sharp, Harpalus and the Jura Mountains
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

The lunar feature known as the Jura Mountains includes the rim of the Sinus Iridium impact and is visible here in late day sunlight. The debris field can be seen extending westward to Mare Frigoris. All of Sinus Iridium is in shadow which gives this region an unfamiliar appearance. The impact that created the large mountainous debris field occurred during the Upper Imbrium period (3.8 billion years ago). Some of the mountains are a lofty 5 kilometers high. Superimposed on these mountains are two forty kilometer complex craters known as Mairan and Sharp; another similar sized crater can be seen on Mare Frigoris and is called Harpalus (39 km.). At high sun this crater shows a bright young crater ray system in addition to a fine glacis. There are 3 pillow-like features to the far left in the sketch at the edge of the Iridium ejecta. The two that are closest together are the famous large lunar domes known as Gruithuisen Gamma and Delta.
It is always worth while when not expecting a rigorous day ahead to get up a little earlier than usual to see what is going on in the sky before sunrise. This is especially true when the sky is clear and very transparent.


For this sketch I used: black Canson paper 9″x 12″, white and black Conte’
pastel pencils , and Conte’crayons, a blending stump, plastic and gum erasers. Brightness was decreased -2 using the scanner for this sketch
Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian with 9mm (161x) eyepiece
Date: 11-12-2009 11:00-12:00 UT
Temperature: -3°C (27°F)
Clear to partly cloudy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Co longitude 212.7°
Lunation days 25.27
Illumination 20.1%

Frank McCabe

Three Rings Around a Target

Three Rings Around a Target

The Southwestern Limb of Moon with Montes Rook and Cordillera
Sketch and Details by Peter Mayhew

Object Name: Southwestern Limb of Moon with Montes Rook and Cordillera.

Object Type: Lunar mountains


Date: 3rd October 2009

Medium: Graphite pencil on white paper.

Instrument: Skywatcher Skyliner 150mm f8 Dobsonian, 10mm e.p. with x2 Barlow.

Seeing: Very turbulent with intermittent stillness.

Three Rings Around a Target

The Montes Rook and Cordillera with labelled features
Sketch and Details by Peter Mayhew

The moon was 14 days old and this part of the south west limb was the only region under contrast. Craters were only visible when close to the terminator, or if rayed or darkened with basalt flows. The mountain peaks stood out perfectly in moments of stillness. The three concentric mountain rings around the (not-visible) Mare Orientale were clearly defined. I include a labelled version.

Prismatic Bay

Prismatic Bay

Sinus Iridum, The Bay of Rainbows
Sketch and Details by Tamás Ábrahám

Sinus Iridum

During the observation and sketching the inner part of the bay was shaded, but the Montes Jura with Crater Bianchini was illuminated by the Sun.
The Crater Maupertuis was visible well. Seeing was not so good this night.

Date: August 30, 2009
Equipment: 8 inch f/5 Newtonian reflector with 4 mm SW Planetary eyepiece
Location: Zsámbék, Hungary
Technique: black paper, white and black pencils

Tamás Ábrahám

Together with Plato

Together with Plato

The Lunar Crater Plato
Sketch by Aleksander Cieśla & Anna Pawliczak, details by Aleksander Cieśla

This is Plato crater. Once night I and my fiancee, Anna, first time we sketch together. Anna have no sketching skills yet, but She has helped me with lights and shadows on this sketch.

Object: Moon. Plato crater.
Scope: Schmidt-Cassegrain 5″ with Antares SW 7,4mm & barlow lens 1,6x
Place: Poland, Wrocław – near city center
Weather: Very good. Seeing: 9/10. Transparency: 8/10 but Light Pollution
Date: 3rd April 2009
Technigue: White pastels on black paper.

Sunrise on the Moon: Gates of Mare Imbrium and Ptolemaeus

Gates of Imbrium and Ptolemaeus

Gates of Mare Imbrium and Ptolemaeus
Sketch and Details by Leonor Ana Hernández

Object name: oriental region of Mare Imbrium and Ptolemaeus crater
Object Type: Lunar Crater and Maria

The last sunday 31th we could point the telescope to the moon in a beautiful place called “Las Inviernas” Guadalajara, Spain. The moon was just on the seventh day and stood high on the beautiful background of blue sky. I looked through the telescope and I was fascinated by the beauty of the image it shows: “it was dawning at the gates of the east of Mare Imbrium”…

Leonor Ana

Cassini, Aristillus and Autolycus with the Caucasians

Cassini Aristillus Autolycus Caucasins

Cassini, Aristillus, Autolycus craters and part of the Caucasus Mountains.
Sketch and Details by Aleksander Cieśla

Hello. This is my next sketch of the Lunar surface. On this sketch: Cassini, Aristillus, Autolycus craters and part of the Caucasus Mountains.

Object: Moon. Cassini, Aristillus, Autolycus craters and Caucasus Montes
Scope: Schmidt-Cassegrain 5” + barlow 2x + Antares SW 7,4mm
Magnification: about 338x
Place: Poland, Wroclaw – near city center
Weather: Not good. Seeing 5/10. Light Pollution. Light clouds.
Date: 2 February 2009
Technique: Black & White pastels on black paper
Tooling: N/A

Sharp Shadows Over the Caucasian Mountains

Sharp Shadows

The Caucasian Mountains of the Moon
Sketch and Details by Krzysztof Jastrzębski “Jarzbi”

This is my first astronomy sketch made with pencils. It’s too hard as
for the first time.
Object Name:
* Object Type (Moon Craters)
* Location (Skawina City in Poland)
* Date (04 January 2009)
* Equipment: Synta 8” Dob, Eyepice LV 5.

Krzysztof Jastrzebski (Jarzbi)

Eratosthenes and the Apennines


Eratosthenes Crater and the Montes Apennius
Sketch and Details by Aleksander Cieśla

Eratosthenes crater and the Apennines Mountains on the Moon’s surface.

Object: Moon – Eratosthenes Crater
Scope: Schmidt-Cassegrain 5” + Speers-Waler 7,4mm + barlow 1,6x
Filter: Moon&SkyGlow
Place: Poland, Wroclaw – near city center
Weather: Good. Seeing 7/10. Light Pollution.
Date: 6-7 January 2009
Technique: White pastel crayons on black paper
Tooling: N/A

The Bay of Rainbows

Sinus Iridum

Sinus Iridum
Sketch and Details by Richard Handy

Less than a several hundred thousand years after the impact that formed the Imbrium basin about 3.8 billion years ago, the 260 km Upper Imbrian crater formed that would eventually become known to observers as Sinus Iridum, the poetically named Bay of Rainbows. In a blindingly intense blast lasting less than a couple of seconds, the roughly 13 km Iridum asteriod gouged out a section of one of the ejecta rings that surrounded the Imbrium basin, scattering a rubbly circular lens of debris around the crater. It’s floor was lower in depth to the south, where it intersected the plate shaped lowlands of the basin. Huge chuncks of ejecta covered or partially obliterated the older craters that had survived the Imbrium event, giving Nectarian aged 48 km Maupertuis on it’s northeast slopes an odd rhomboidal shape. Thirty seven km Lower Imbrium La Condamine to the north seems to have faired a little better, partially filled with Iridum ejecta. 24 km Bouguer to its west is the the most recent, of Copernician age. To the northwest it pushed up the rim creating the Jura mountains, in places 6000 meters high. Even though the Imbrium basin had been flooding for a few hundred thousand years, and the mare basalts had not yet reached the lower elevations of the southern rim of the Iridum crater, it seems likely that Iridum’s floor had already been weeping a slow flow of lava from fissures that had been opened up by the force of the fiery impact. Still it would be close to half a billion years before the Imbrium flows began to erode the southern peaks and cascade down the slopes to completely cover the crater floor. As the lower southern floor began to subside from the load of dense basalt, the whole southern rim section may have suffered a series of catastrophic slides further down into the Imbrium basin, producing the clean separation at the 2600 meter high Promontorium Laplace, the eastern cape. Now only the sinuous dorsae near the craterlet Laplace A mark the rim’s southern boundry. To the west, the Promontorium Heraclides, Cassini’s aptly named “Moon Maiden”, reaches a height of 1700 meters, yet the western cape seems to taper to the southwest, blending rather smoothly into the mare. Along with its slow liquid inundation, Iridum was struck by several small impacts, most notably 39 km Upper Imbrian Bianchini which apparently caused a section of the northern rim to collapse, creating a talus of regolith beneath it’s southern rampart as a result of the seismic shock imparted so close to the rim of Iridum. Beyond the capes to the southwest are the 26 km Imbrium aged crater Helicon and it’s smaller companion, 20 km Eratosthenian Le Verrier. Out on the mare, to the west of Promontorium Laplace, is Montes Recti, a rectangular group of mountains 94 km long x 12 km wide, at 1800 meters, towering over the surrounding somber lava plains.

Sketch details:

Subject: Sinus Iridum #14 of L100 Rukl: 2, 3, 10 , 11
Time: 4:47 UT till 6:10 UT Date: July 25, 2007
Seeing: Antoniadi III -II Weather: clear and calm
Lunation: 10.7 days
Colongitude: 35.8 deg.
Illumination: 76.8%
Lib. in Lat.: +07 deg. 31 min.
Lib. in Long.: -03 deg. 28 min.
Phase: 57.6 deg.
Telescope: 12″ Meade SCT f/10
Binoviewer: W.O. Bino-P with 1.6X nosepiece
45 deg. W.O. erect image diagonal
Eyepieces: 18mm W.O. Plossls
Magnification: 271X
Sketch Medium: White and black Conte’ crayon on black textured Strathmore paper
Sketch size: 18″ X 24″

Crater Plato and Environs


Plato and Environs
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

One of the more famous features of the lunar surface is the walled plain crater Plato. This 100 kilometer crater was formed on the blocks of ejecta or the debris field (lunar Alps) of the Mare Imbrian basin forming event and it preceded the lava upwelling that flooded the floor of the crater and then the maria. Beyond the highland rise of the crater to the north is Mare Frigoris. To the west of the crater is Plato A a 22 km. crater beyond the ramparts of Plato. Just on to the smooth Imbrian lava to the south are the Teneriffe Mountains including Mount Pico at the east end of the chain. A portion of Rimae Plato was visible intermittently in among the rugged mountain bases of the Alps as seeing briefly reached average value now and again. The central peaks present at the time of the Plato impact are buried under 2 kilometer of lava and only small craterlets can be seen on the floor. Two of these were in and out of visibility as I drew this sketch. The rim on the shadowed side of the crater has irregular peaks that reach to 2.6 km. above the crater floor. At times of lower sun angles the irregular peaks cast long shadows that allow you to locate these summits.
In the years of the 17th century after the invention of the telescope, crater Plato changed names three times. In 1645 it was named Lacus Panciroli by Michael van Langren and in 1647 Johannes Hevelius named it Lacus Niger Major and finally Fr. John Baptist Riccioli in 1651 gave it the name we call it to this day.
If you have a telescope take a look at the crater floor and watch it change in brightness as we approach and then go past full moon. The moon is not light pollution it is a rewarding astronomical target.


For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 10”x12”, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and a blending stump. After scanning, Brightness was decreased (-2) and contrast increased (+2) using Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 9 mm eyepiece 161x
Date: 9-10-2008, 1:15 – 2:30 UT
Temperature: 15° C (60° F)
clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Colongitude 29.6 °
Lunation 10.2 days
Illumination 72.7 %

Frank McCabe

The mysteries of Mons Rumker

Mons Rumker

Mons Rumker
Sketch and Details by Richard Handy

Mons Rumker sits in isolation on the dark basalts of northwest Oceanus Procellarum like a lonely sentinel on the edge of some vast undiscovered wilderness. The Rumker Hills dome complex, situated on the western flank of the Aristarchus Plateau, lies on the top of a local swelling that is about 140 km in diameter. It is composed of a remarkable set of about a dozen volcanic domes and low mounds, which are scattered in a rough semi-circular plateau approximately 70 km in diameter. The surficial domes apparently overlay preexisting low domes so that the elevated northwest sections have a pancake like appearance. Despite the long shadows when viewed close to the terminator, nowhere do these domes rise much above 500 meters in elevation from the mean surface of the mare. A central depression to the southeast of the domed crescent displays a strange dichotomy between its darker and lighter floor that is very reminiscent of areas on the Moon that have pyroclastic deposits. The mysteries of Rumker are manifold: why is this the only such layered dome field on the surface of the Moon? Why is located here? Does it predate the mare lavas or is it the representative of the last vestiges of differentiated magmas that ended the mare sequences in this area? Is the central depression part of a preexisting separate domain or were both aspects, both domes and depression deposits, created over the same period of time?

Sketch details

Subject: Mons Rumker and environs Rukl: 8
Date: 3-31-07
Session Start 8:03 UT End 9.48 UT
Seeing: Antoniadi II-III Weather clear
Lunation 1042, 12.3 days Phase: 25.2 deg Illumination 95.2%
Colongitude: 60.7 deg
Lib in Lat: +00 deg 05 min Lib. in Long: +04 deg 04 min
Telescope: Meade 12” SCT f/10
Binoviewer: W.O. Bino –P with 1.6X nosepiece
Eyepieces: 12.4 mm Meade Super Plossls
Magnification: 393X
Sketch medium: White Conte’ Crayon on black textured Strathmore paper
Sketch size: 18” x 24”

Southeastern Ocean of Storms

southern Oceanus Procellarum

Southern Oceanus Procellarum
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

Shortly after sunset I turned my telescope in the direction of the moon and was planning to sketch the crater Longomontanus. However that all changed when I spotted a ghostly, mostly buried crater in southern Oceanus Procellarum right at the terminator. For June 10, 2006 at C. Wood’s site – LPOD, you can find a photo of this region of the moon. Superimposed over this crater are a series of dorsa (ridges) known as Dorsa Euclides F. The lava in this region is not quite thick enough to cover all the evidence that this unnamed crater existed. To the east the 12 kilometer Copernician period crater surrounded by bright ejecta at the center of the sketch is Euclides. Just to the east of this crater are the Riphaeus mountains. North of the mountains you will see four of the Lansberg craters with the largest being Lansberg D (11 km.).
The two small Eratosthenian craters at the far left side of the sketch are Kuiper and Eppinger both at about 6 km. in size.
I love these views that inspire us to capture them with a sketch.


For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper 9”x12”, white and black Conte’ pastel pencils and a blending stump. After scanning, Brightness was decreased (-5) and contrast increased (+3) using Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

Telescope: 18 inch f/ 5 Dobsonian and 12 mm eyepiece 167x
Date: 8-12-2008, 1:35 – 3:05 UT
Temperature: 21° C (71° F)
Partly cloudy, hazy, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi II – III
Colongitude 35.8 °
Lunation 10.6 days
Illumination 78.9 %

Frank McCabe

Exquisite Eratosthenes

Eratosthenes and environs

Eratosthenes and environs
Sketch and Details by Richard Handy

Description: Eratosthenes is the exquisite jewel sitting next to the Hope Diamond of Lady Luna, Copernicus. Consequently, Eratosthenes is often overshadowed by the spectacle of this lunar Juggernaut, however this sparkling gem of a crater and its immediate environment convey some of the major events that dominated the northwestern quadrant of the Moon. From 4.5 billion to 4.2 Billion years ago, a few hundred million years before the period of Heavy Bombardment, the large impactor Gargantuan, first proposed by the British geologist Peter Cadogan, struck the Moon with a force and fury far beyond our comprehension. The possibility that this impact could have, in one single event, reshaped the mean crustal thickness on both sides of the Moon is a staggering thought. Fed by fissures and cracks in the broken crust created by the force of the impact, magmas found easy passage to the basin floor. Over the intervening eons, the great basin formed by that event would eventually fill in with mare lavas to form Oceanus Procellarum. About 3.85 billion years ago, during the period of Late Heavy bombardment (3.8-4.0 by ago) the Moon received another enormous blow to this same northwest quadrant. The impactor, though half the size, formed another great basin, again flooding with mare lavas like Procellarum, to become the beautiful Mare Imbrium. To the east of Eratosthenes, the arcuate sweep of the Montes Apenninus, part of the remnant rim of giant Imbrium, seem to diminish to a few low outcrops as they approach the crater, probably appearing much like a mesa would if you were strolling on the surface. There are a few of these buried massifs on Eratosthenes’ northwestern flanks, although the great circular mountain range disappears in this region only to reappear as the Montes Carpatus to the northwest of Copernicus. There is a wonderful flame-like mountainous formation to the southwest of Eratosthenes, it appears to have been shaped by the fluidized flow fronts from the Imbrium event. Both Copernicus and Eratosthenes are benchmark features, meaning their formations correspond to the beginning of a geological period. Fifty-eight kilometer Eratosthenes was excavated by a 3 km wide impactor some 3.2 billion years ago. It’s rugged walls and terraces show significant scalloping and craterlet battering. The mare around Eratosthenes seemed coated in rays from 93 km Copernicus, which formed 1.1 billion years ago by an impactor 4.5 km in diameter, inaugurating the Copernican period. During this last 1000 million years most complex plant and animal life on Earth evolved.

Sketch details:
Subject: Eratosthenes and environs
Date: 12-28-2006 Start 5:27 UT End 6:50 UT
Lunation: 8.64 days Phase: 68.6 deg Colongitude: 19.8 deg
Illumination: 68.2 % Lib in Lat: -03 deg 24 min Lib in Long.: +01 deg 36 min
Seeing: Terrible most of the session, Antoniadi IV-V, only very occasionally III
Weather: clear
Telescope: 12” Meade SCT f/10
Barlow: 2X Televue
Binoviewer: Williams Optics Bino-P with 1.6X nosepiece
Eyepieces: 20 mm W.O. Plossls
Magnification: 396X
Sketch Medium: White and black Conte’ Crayon on textured black Strathmore paper
Sketch size: 18”x 24”

Eddington: A Mere Shadow of its Former Self


Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

I was disappointed with my previous observation of this region of the Ocean of Storms this past August and this night was my first opportunity to return to this area. On this evening of observing and sketching, 137 kilometer, walled-plain crater remnant Eddington was well positioned and illuminated in the morning sunlight for drawing. The features that identify Eddington as a large crater ruin include the missing southern and eastern rims and the vast flooding of its floor with the mare lavas. Eddington is a Pre-Nectarian period crater which is likely older than 4 billion years. Today its worn appearance still has character. There is a broken arc of rim remains from south to east which gradually climbs from hills to mountains as the rim arc is traced northward. It may no longer be a regal crater, but it makes an excellent bay to the shore of the Ocean of Storms. To the east-southeast of Eddington rests the much younger Eratosthenian period crater Seleucus (44 km.). This is a deep crater at 3 km. and has a bright meandering debris ray from the crater Oblers A (not seen) passing the crater to the east. The Soviet moon probe Luna 13 landed 75 kilometers southeast of this crater. South along the terminator is the crater Krafft (51 km.) which makes an interesting partner to crater Cardanus beyond the sketching region to the south. Two craters are visible north and east of Eddington. These craters are Briggs (37 km.) and Briggs B (25 km.). Both were showing dazzling rims and ramparts in the early sunlight. The lone crater visible across the sketch to the northeast is Imbrian period crater Schiaparelli at 24 kilometers in diameter. This was that perfect lighting I was waiting for to capture this little corner of the Ocean of Storms.


For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, white and black Conte’

pastel pencils and a blending stump. After scanning, Brightness was slightly decreased (-3) and contrast increased (+3) using Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 9 mm eyepiece 161x

Date: 6-17-2008, 2:55-3:50 UT

Temperature: 19° C (67° F)

Clear, transparent, calm

Seeing: Antoniadi III

Colongitude 72.7 °

Lunation 13.4 days

Illumination 98 %

Frank McCabe

Rainbow Bay

Bay of Rainbows

Sinus Iridum
Sketch and Details by Frank McCabe

Sinus Iridum (Bay of Rainbows) is one of the more attractive impact regions of the lunar moonscape under grazing illumination. The northern and western rim of this impact basin is composed of the rugged Jura mountain range from Cape LaPlace in the northeast to Cape Heraclides (the Moon Maiden) to the west. The bay reaches across a central distance of 260 kilometers. The entire southern portion of the crater rim is not seen for it is covered by the Mare Imbrium lava flows. First the massive impact that created Mare Imbrium about 3.8 billion years ago occurred. That event was followed by the smaller basin creating impact that left the large “crater Iridium” and subsequent events that buried its southern rim under lava flows some 3.3 billion years ago. Some geologists have suggested a seismic event before the lava flows aided in lowering the southern rim (see C.A Wood, The Modern Moon, p. 37).

One of the first sketches featuring Sinus Iridium in a telescopic view was done by Giovanni Cassini in 1679. In his drawing the Moon Maiden is featured. In my drawing Promontorium Heraclides (Moon Maiden) is seen at the upper right. Beyond this cape is a frozen wave of lava known as Dorsum Hein at the top center of the sketch. Following the arc of the sunlit Jura range, your eye arrives at the large shadowed floor of crater Bianchini (39km.) just beyond the half way point to Promontorium LaPlace (Cape LaPlace). Note the slumping of rim debris out into the bay from crater Bianchini. On to Cape LaPlace there is a tall mastiff at the cape that is casting a large triangular shadow that created a pleasing and eye catching view at the telescope ocular. Out beyond the reaches of the Bay of Rainbows are a pair of 20 km. diameter craters; Le Verrier is the slightly smaller one on the left and the other one is Helicon. This is a fascinating region of the moon to explore with a telescope and great fun to try and capture on paper.


For this sketch I used: White CPP sketching paper, 9”x 12”, Numbers 2H, B and 4B graphite pencils, a blending stump, plastic eraser and an eraser shield. After scanning, Brightness was slightly decreased (-3) and contrast increased (+3) using Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

Telescope: 10 inch f/ 5.7 Dobsonian and 9mm eyepiece 161x
Date: 6-14-2008 1:30 – 2:42 UT
Temperature: 24° C (77° F)
clear, breezy
Seeing: Antoniadi IV
Co-longitude: 34.9°
Lunation: 10.26 days
Illumination: 81.5 %
Phase: 50.9°
Observing Location: +41°37′ +87° 47′

Frank McCabe

The Highlands Between Grimaldi and Mersenius

Highlands Between Grimaldi and Mersenius

Highlands Between Grimaldi and Mersenius
Sketch and Commentary by Frank McCabe

With the moon at nearly full phase, the sunrise illumination was approaching the western limb on this evening of observing and sketching. The region I focused in on includes the highlands just beyond the southwestern portion of Oceanus Procellarum between the Grimaldi basin and crater Mersenius. Both of these features are outside the boundaries of this sketch. Normally in this light I can hold the linear Rille Sirsalis in view continuously, but on this night it was visible only intermittently. Twin craters Sirsalis (43 km.) and Sirsalis A (49 km.) were clearly visible with their bright rims and dark shadowed floors. It is clear from some light reaching the floor of Sirsalis A that Siralis is the deeper of the two.
Lava flooded Billy, an Imbrium crater at 46 kilometers is separated from slightly younger crater Hansteen (45 km.) by Mons Hansteen. Beyond these features the remains of Siralis E a ghostly 72 kilometer crater remnant was visible in the morning sunlight.


For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, 8”x 11”, white and black Conte’pastel pencils and a blending stump. Brightness was slightly decreased (-5) and contrast increased (+6) after scanning using Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

Telescope: 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian and 9mm eyepiece 161x
Date: 3-20-2008 4:50 – 6:00 UT
Temperature: -2°C (28°F)
clear, calm
Seeing: Antoniadi III
Co longitude: 66.9°
Lunation: 12.5 days
Illumination: 97.5 %
Phase: 18.4°
Observing Location: +41°37′ +87° 47′

Frank McCabe

Alexander’s Waning Ray

Alexander’s Waning Ray

Alexander’s Waning Ray
By Richard Handy

When the waning Moon brings long spires of deep shadows to the mountains and scarps that line the western shores of Mare Imbrium, the peaks of the Montes Caucasus become beacons of bright white light, radiant and dazzling in the last rays of late lunar afternoon sun. This arcuate, rugged range, a remnant of the multi-basin rings raised by the titantic Imbrium impact, reach a lofty 6000 meters in elevation above Mare Imbrium and Serenitatis today. The strait that separates the Caucasus and the Montes Apenninus is probably the result of the previous Serenitatis impact. The collision excavated a large section of crustal material at the eventual and almost tangental intersection of these two great lunar basins, so here no mountains nor hills were lifted high enough to survive the much later inundation by mare basalts. The dark parabola of shadowed Alexander is illuminated by a single, slim dagger of light. Was this ancient Pre-Imbrium 82 km crater the result of an oblique impact? The heavy fill of ejecta from the Imbrium or Serenitatis events and the remainders of its sparse and broken ramparts make interpretation difficult, still it’s general elliptical depression begs this question. Between the Montes Caucasus and the Montes Alpes to the northeast lies Cassini with it’s smooth appearing glacis. This Lower Imbrium crater almost looks to have impacted into a semi-liquid layer of basalt, so soft and thin is the appearance of it’s glacis. To the northeast of Cassini, The Montes Alpes, a great blocky wedge composed of lineated chunks of broken regolith, is scattered radially from the center of Imbrium, evidence of the sheer power of an explosion that lifted up mountain ranges and tossed aside blocks of lunar crust the size of stadiums hundreds of kilometers from it’s center. Beyond the field of view of this sketch, the Vallis Alpes confirms the readjustment that occcured millions of years after the Imbrium event, as large sections of crust pulled apart under the stresses of sublithospheric flows.

Sketch details:

Subject: Alexander’s Waning Ray Rukl: 12, 13,
Time: 9:50 UT to 10:17 UT Date: December 30, 2007
Seeing: Antoniadi III -IV Weather: clear and 10 mph breeze
Lunation: 20.68 days
Colongitude: 164.0 deg.
Illumination: 58.9%
Lib. in Lat.: +03 deg. 30 min.
Lib. in Long.: +06 deg. 29 min.
Phase: 280.2 deg.
Telescope: 12″ Meade SCT f/10
Binoviewer: W.O. Bino-P with 1.6X nosepiece
45 deg. W.O. erect image diagonal
Eyepieces: 18mm W.O. Plossls
Magnification: 271X
Sketch Medium: White and gray pastels on Strathmore black Artagain paper
Sketch size: 18″ X 24″

Semiannual Lunar Ritual

Vallis Schröteri

Vallis Schröteri and environs
By Jeremy Perez

And so, in the spirit of completing one Lunar sketch and observation every 6 months or so, I present Vallis Schröteri. On the night I made this observation, I was very impressed by the rugged terrain in the vicinity of this sinuous rille. The whole area looked like a badly skinned knee in merciful shades of gray. Although Vallis Schröteri was the celebrity, a few other features played staring roles. Mons Herodotus shone brilliantly while the craters Herodotus and Aristarchus stared out like spectacled eyes with the teardrop of Väisälä glistening on the burnished cheek of a nearby highland. Further to the north, Montes Agricola embraced the region like the tip of a rattlesnake’s tail.

There was so much to observe and sketch, I couldn’t possibly capture it all. I did learn from my previous attempts at white on black Conté sketching and went for a larger illustration. This sketch was prepared on a 9″ x 12″ sheet of black Canson Mi Tientes pastel paper. I used a blending stump to smooth the pastel where appropriate and to build up brighter tones. The brightest rims are straight attacks with the Conté pencil. The sketch took about 45 minutes at the eyepiece with another 15 minutes of additional touch-up indoors. White on black sketching is really a great way to tackle the moon–especially the terminator. I hope to keep working at it when time permits. I’ll still be using pencil and charcoal, but it’s nice to have this method accessible when I want it.

Object Information:

Vallis Schröteri is the largest sinuous valley on the Moon. Although hidden in shadow in my sketch, this valley makes its start at a 6 km diameter crater just north of Herodotus crater and widens to 10 km. This area is sometimes referred to as the Cobra’s head. It then winds 160 km and narrows to 500 m at it’s end. The rille is likely the result of volcanic activity as a lava flow carved its winding path through the landscape. Aristarchus is a remarkably bright crater with a pronounced ray system. It is 40 km in diameter and is believed to be a relatively young 450 million years old.

Subject Vallis Schröteri and Surroundings
Classification Sinuous Valley, Craters and Mountains
Position West
Phase/Age 11.7 Days
Size* Vallis Schröteri: 160 km length x 1000 m depth (max)
Herodotus: 35 km dia
Aristarchus: 40 km dia x 3000 m depth
Väisälä: 8 km dia
Dorsum Niggli: 50 km length
Montes Agricola: 160 km length
Mons Herodotus: 5 km dia
Date/Time April 28, 2007, 10:00 PM MST (April 29, 2007, 05:00 UT)
Observing Loc. Flagstaff, AZ – Home
Instrument Orion SVP 6LT Reflector (150 mm dia./1200 mm F/L)
Eyepieces/Mag. 10 mm + 2X Barlow (240X)
Conditions Partly cloudy, calm
Seeing Ant. III
Sources Atlas of the Moon by Antonín Rükl 2004; Observing the Moon by Gerald North 2000.
* Based on published data.

Rugged, Majestic, and Arcuate

Lunar Mountain Range


The Montes Apenninus
By Eric Graff

Lunar Mountain Range

Parks Astrolight EQ6 * 6″ f/6 Newtonian Reflector

6mm Parks Kellner + 4x Barlow * 600x, ~4′ Field of View

19 October 2007 * 01:35-03:50 UT

The largest lunar mountain range; the majestic Montes Apenninus extend 600
kilometers around the south preceding  (sp) rim of Mare Imbrium.  The highest peaks
exceed 5000 meters.  The Apollo 15 mission landed at the foot of this range.

This observation shows the north-preceding (np) end of this range extending from the
lunar terminator at the first quarter phase (7-day-old moon).  The prominent crater
near the center of the field of view is 22 kilometer-wide Conon, noted for its sharp
rim.  Prominent peaks of the range shown here include Mons Ampère (near the sf edge
of the field of view), Mons Huygens (5600 m), Mons Bradley (5000 m, very prominent,
following Conon), an apparently nameless peak north of Conon, and finally Mons
Hadley Delta and Mons Hadley (4500 m) at the np end of the range, which terminates
in Promontorium Fresnel.

An extensive range of foothills precedes the Apennines, while the following side
drops precipitously toward the floor of Mare Imbrium.  A series of six small,
elongated hills runs parallel to the following side of the range.  Many of the
foothills on the gently-sloping preceding side are arranged in gently curving
parallel chains sweeping southward from the higher slopes, particularly in the area
south of Conon.  This “curious” uniformity of orientation is likely the result of
shock fractures induced by the Imbrium asteroid impact.

Deep in shadow, at the nf edge of the field of view are the walls of Archimedes;
Autolycus rests on the northern edge of the field, also heavily shadowed.

A Tranquil and Serene Tapestry

Mare Serenatatis and Tranquillatis

Mare Serenitatis and Mare Tranquillitatis
By Giorgio Bonacorsi

 Hello, my name is Giorgio Bonacorsi, I live in little town named Pergola, in Marche, center Italy. My night sky is good, I live near mountain Catria(1702m). My observation site are at 3-4 minutes from home and are at 400-500 m of altitude. I go there for my sketches of galaxy and other object of deep sky,but also behind my home I have a good sky, principally for Moon, planets and comets. My instruments are: Newtonian telescope 15cm 750f, acromatic80/1000, maksutov-cassegrain 110/1035, 16×80 binocular.

The Great Black Lake of Johannes Hevelius

Crater Plato

By Frank McCabe

  After 3 weeks of cloudy nights I was anxious to get out in the moonlight to attempt some moon and Mars observing. The seeing was too poor for a good view of Mars but with the moon just past first quarter many targets were available for examination and sketching.
  The selected region along the terminator for this sketch is walled plain crater Plato. Since I am viewing through a Newtonian telescope the drawing is inverted from the direct view. Plato is a beautiful 100 kilometer diameter crater with a dark, flat, thick, lava covered floor.  Normally in average seeing four of the craterlets across the dark flat floor are visible but not on this night with the poor seeing conditions. Shadows of peaks created by the 2 kilometer high irregular eastern crater rim stood out across the crater floor.  The enormous amount of lava flooding the crater floor has completely buried the central peaks. Although the impacting rock that created Plato more than three billion years ago came later than the much larger Imbrium impactor, the lava flooding of the region was subsequent to both events. The triangular massif on the western rim (right side) of the crater was difficult to see clearly because of the poor seeing. To the southwest of Plato across the Imbrium basin floor stands the sentinel peak Pico and on further towards the terminator westward the Teneriffe peaks. A small portion of Mare Frigoris can be seen north (below) of crater Plato.

For this sketch I used: black Strathmore 400 Artagain paper, 12”x 9”, white and
black Conte’pastel pencils and a blending stump. Brightness was slightly decreased
after scanning.

Telescope: 10 inch f/5.7 Dobsonian and 9mm eyepiece 161x
Date: 12-16-2007 2:30-4:00 UT
Temperature: -6°C (21°F)
partly cloudy, windy
Seeing: Antoniadi IV
Co longitude: 15°
Lunation: 8.4 days
Illumination: 58 %

Frank McCabe

A Birthday Tribute

Hadley Rille 

On August 5th 1971 the Astronauts of Apollo 15, David Scott, James Irwin, and
Alfred Worden were coming home. It was the 11th day of the mission, and the 2nd day
of their voyage back to Earth after a successful mission to the lunar surface.

 Six days earlier on July 30th, Apollo 15 Commander David Scott and Lunar Module
(LM) pilot James Irwin had landed in the Rima Hadley/Montes Apenninus region of the
Moon in the Lunar Module Falcon. “OK, Houston. The Falcon is on the Plain at
Hadley.”, said David Scott upon touchdown. The Command and Service Module (CSM)
pilot, Alfred Worden continued in lunar orbit in the CSM Endeavour and conducted
scientific experiments. While on the lunar surface, Scott and Irwin made three
moonwalk Extra Vehicular Activities (EVAs), becoming the 7th and 8th men to walk on
the Moon. During the EVAs which totalled 18 hours, 35 minutes, they covered 27.9
km, and collected 76.8 kg of rock and soil samples. They also took photographs, set
up the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP), and performed other
scientific experiments. This time the Astronauts didn’t just walk on the Moon, for
this was the first mission to employ the Lunar Roving Vehicle. Scott and Irwin used
the Rover to
 explore regions within 5 km of the LM landing site. After the final EVA, David
Scott performed a televised demonstration of a hammer and feather falling at the
same rate in the lunar vacuum.

 The LM lifted off from the Moon on August 2nd after 66 hours, 55 minutes on the
lunar surface. Once the Falcon docked with Endeavor, the lunar samples and other
equipment were transferred from the LM and it was jettisoned after a one orbit

 The LM Falcon impacted the Moon on August 3rd, 93 km west of the Apollo 15 ALSEP
site. It had an estimated impact velocity of 1.7 km per second.
 On August 4th, after Apollo 15 underwent an orbit-shaping maneuver, a scientific
subsatellite was spring-launched from the Scientific Instrument Module (SIM) bay
into lunar orbit. The Apollo 15 crew began the transearth injection on the next
orbit which started their long journey home.

 The next day, August 5th, Alfred Worden stepped into the black vacuum 196,000 miles
from the earth to become the first man ever to take a floating excursion outside
his craft in interplanetary space. The Apollo 15 astronauts, in prearranged
collaboration with Soviet and Dutch astronomers, were trying to observe what some
scientists suspect are “black holes” in the sky.

 Meanwhile, back on Earth, Niel Armstrong was celebrating his 41st birthday. In
Houston not too far from Mission Control, Credence Clearwater Revival was jamming
at the Coliseum . Across the Atlantic Ocean in Munich Germany, An American Soldier
and his wife (Justin and Janet Aldridge) were celebrating the birth of their first
child. They named him Jason.

 Two days later on August 7th, the Apollo 15 Astronauts splashed down in the Pacific
Ocean, 330 miles north of Honolulu, Hawaii and 6.1 mi from the recovery ship USS
Okinawa. 16 months later, Apollo 17 Commander Eugene Cernan would be the last man
to walk on the Moon.

 A child of Apollo, Jason would grow up with dreams of traveling to the Moon. He saw
the color photographs of Mars that returned from the Viking Missions, and he knew
that someday he would visit Mars as well. He watched as the Voyager spacecraft flew
past Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, and he knew that Man would explore the
solar system and beyond in his lifetime.

 Today I am 36 years old. The dreams I had as a child are all but a fond memory now.
No Human has been back to the Moon, and there have been no manned missions beyond
Earths orbit. NASA plans to return to the Moon by 2018, almost 50 years after Niel
Armstrong first set foot there. I think my feelings about this matter are best
described in the words of Apollo 15 Commander, David R Scott:

 “As I stand out here in the wonders of the unknown at Hadley, I sort of realize
there’s a fundamental truth to our nature, Man must explore . . . and this is
exploration at its greatest.”

 I would like to dedicate this lunar sketch to the brave men of Apollo 15, David R
Scott, James B Irwin, and Alfred M Worden. I am honored to have been born during
their historic mission. 

 Jason Aldridge

PS: Happy Birthday Niel Armstrong!

*Sources: NASA NSSDC Master Catalog Display: Spacecraft, Apollo Flight Journal, New
York Times articles from 8/6/1971, Credance Clearwater Revival official web site.

Sketching Materials: 0.5mm Mechanical Graphite Pencil, Strathmore Windpower Sketch
Paper, MGI Photosuite III software for post processing.

Lunar luminaries

2006 07 07

Lansberg/Gamma and Delta

“Wednesday night (Thursday for UT), was a practice session for imaging with my
Rebel.  I finally bought a t-ring adaptor during a star party a few weeks ago and
had some fun playing with the new toy. The guys in the DSLR forum are giving me some
great pointers.  Feels very strange entering that realm, but I have a feeling it
will compliment the sketching well for my observations.  Plus gives me yet another
way to enjoy this hobby to the fullest!

It was then time to put the camera away and dig out my sketch kit.  Paul, being the
thoughtful husband that he is, bought Tom L’s binoviewers for me last month.  Tom,
if you’re reading this, I absolutely LOVE them!  Wow!  Thank you both so much!!!
I’ve been having a lot of fun with black Strathmore paper and Conte’ crayons for my
solar work, so with Rich in mind, I got up the nerve to try my first lunar sketch
with this media. Lansberg and the surrounding craters were my main targets that
night.  I explored the terminator, tried to count craterlets in Plato, and admired
Copernicus (and was tempted to try it again, as the last time I tried to sketch that
beauty, my sketch was cut short and it was never completed).

Lansberg is from the Imbrian period and is about 41km.  The central mountains stuck
out like two eyeballs in a dark room and I was pleased to see some terracing.  All
the little craterlets around Lansberg belong to it with Kunowsky D being the
exception to the NW.  Reinhold is trying to slip into the scene to the NE, but got
its toe stuck in the door.  Montes Riphaeus was very dramatic, or at least compared
to the rest of the scene in that area.


After a great day today, which included solar observing (boy, that sun feels
great!), I set up with the binoviewers again tonight.  Although seeing was poor, I
went ahead and bumped up magnification with 8mm TV Plossls (love that EP so much, I
had to get another one!).  It was good enough to support the level of detail needed
to observe domes.  Had I wanted to jump into a few complex craters, I believe a 20mm
would have been best.  So, domes it was and why not a pair?  Mons Gruithuisen Delta
and Gamma were flagging me down and I just could not resist. 

Gruithuisen Domes Delta and Gamma

They are also from the Imbrian period and close to 20km each.  Looking at VMA, Delta
is classified as a mountain and Gamma is a dome.  Rukl calls both of them a domelike
mountain massif.  Hmmm, let’s see what Chuck Woods has to say about them.  Aha!  He
calls them domes, most likely formed of silicic volcanic rocks.  For more reading on
this, see The Modern Moon, page 37.  I would love to be one of the geologists that
Chuck suggests may someday bang on the domes with their rock hammers to see what
they are made of.
It was a bit disappointing that I didn’t see the summit crater on Gamma, but there
was an obvious darkened area on the western top portion of it.  I loved buzzing
around in the all the little dips and valleys to the north of it, though.  The
little raised line between Gamma and Gruithuisen K looked like a pea pod. Isn’t the
lava covered floor beautiful in that region?”
Sketches done with black Strathmore Artagain paper and white Conte’ crayons

Erika Rix

Zanesville, Ohio

Entrance to a frozen Hell

Eratosthenes entrance to a frozen Hell

There was a very thick mist that night, and the moon was hardly visible behind the clouds. I  put the scope outside with no intent for observing, as I wanted to adjust a new home made focuser. It was a very pleasing surprise to discover that there was absolutely no turbulence at all on the Moon.
Despite the thick clouds, the light and contrasts were still strong, and everything was frozen, no movement at all. I jumped on my pencils, and made a draft of Eratosthenes, one of my favorite craters on the Moon, maybe my favorite. I like the long and thin design of the Apennine mountains terminating like a lyra, with that black and strange hole, just at the limit of infinite darkness.

Pierre Desvaux

– Medium used: White Conté on black Canson paper
– Telescope: Home made 16″ Dobson, Nagler 12, barlow 2X Celestron
– Date: December 2006
– Place: Blanzy, Bourgogne, France