The week of April 17 – 23 takes us from Lunar Day 20 to 27, so the Moon would have to be viewed in the wee hours before sunrise. This week we will highlight what is informally called the Valentine Dome.
Valentine Dome: [NE/F11] When the Sun is setting over the area immediately east of the Caucasus Mountains, you will be able to make out a 20-mile wide volcanic dome 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 WEEK OF APRIL 17-23:
On Monday morning about an hour before sunrise, Saturn will be about 4° to the right of the Moon, about 28° above the southern horizon for those in mid-latitudes.
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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