Aristarchus, Herodotus and Schroteri's Valley

Jan 12

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1/12/2014 10:51 PM  RssIcon

Check out these three fantastic looking features on the Moon's surface. Aristarchus is a very bright, very young crater. It is so bright it can be seen even when the section of Moon in which it is located is dark, but lit from earthshine. It is 45 kilometers across, and about 3,600 meters deep. Aristarchus was a Greek astronomer - he was the first to teach that the Earth orbits the Sun and rotates on its axis. (Continues below)Northwestern section of the Moon featuring crater Aristarchus

Immediately adjacent to Aristarchus is Herodotus, named for the Greek historian known as the "father of history." This is a lava-flooded crater, and therefore appears more flat and darker than Aristarchus. But the sinuous valley-cleft known as Vallis Schoteri (or Schroter's Valley) appears to start about 25 kilometers north of here, winding 200 kilometers in total length. It's deepest section is 1,000 meters. It appears like a dry river bed, but requires excellent atmospheric seeing and very high magnification to see detail here well.

More can be seen on the northeastern limb of the Moon early and into the middle part of this week thanks to favorable libration that allows observers to see Mare Humboldtianum, Mare Marginis, Mare Smythi, and other smaller features along here. Find out more in this video. 

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The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.