Observing the Moon with the naked eye

posted: 3940 days ago, on Sunday, 2007 Feb 11 at 01:07
tags: astronomy, outreach, Moon.

Other than being a bloody nuisance when trying to observe the deepsky, the Moon is a fascinating place. It is the only celestial body (other than planet Earth) that shows surface features to the naked eye. And with binoculars you can see more detail on the Moon than the largest telescopes on Earth will show on any of the other planets.

Lunar phases

Probably the most obvious thing about our Moon is that it goes through a cycle of phases. This changing aspect of the Moon is caused by it's motion around the Earth, and the position of the Sun, as the following diagram illustrates:

Prominent lunar features

The diagram below identifies lunar features that can be seen with the naked eye.

nothing more to see. please move along.