The week of September 2-8 takes us from Day 4 to Day 10. This week we will highlight the Valentine Dome, viewable on Thursday evening.
Valentine Dome: [NE/F11] Keep a close eye on the movement of the terminator, and when it just touches the western shore of Serenity, which will be the case on Thursday evening, you will be able to make out a 20-mile wide volcanic dome (the largest dome on the Moon) located in what passes for the Straits of Serenity—the gap in the mountains where Serenitatis seems to flow into Mare Imbrium. This is an unusually large dome that must be caught under a low Sun. Although it does not have an official name, it is popularly referred to as the Valentine Dome because under certain lighting conditions it has a heart shape. Sitting atop the dome are three conspicuous hills (which are accompanied by six smaller ones). They are difficult to see but worth a try.
OF ADDITIONAL INTEREST IN SPACE
The Moon, Jupiter and Saturn will all be visible throughout the week. Jupiter and Saturn will be 24° and 26° above the southern horizon at around 8:30 p.m. The ideal altitude for observing without too much distortion starts at 30° above the horizon, but the views should still be pretty good.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Australia you will be able to see the Moon occult Saturn on Sunday, September 8.
It is highly recommended that you get a copy of Sky and Telescope’s Field Map of the Moon, the very finest Moon map available for use at the telescope. It is available for $10.95 at www.skyandtelescope.com and on Amazon. All features mentioned in this blog will be keyed to the grid on the Field Map and will look like this: Plato: [NW/D9]
Courtesy of Gray Photography of Corpus Christi, Texas
Lunar photos: NASA / USGS / BMDO / LROC / ASU / DLR / LOLA / Moon Globe. Used by permission
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