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Beautiful Clavius
On Monday January 9th I observed the Moon for a few hours. One of my favorite regions, the Longomontanus-Clavius-Moretus region, lay near the terminator, and was beautifully lit. Clavius itself is a large crater (or is it a basin?) with a diameter of 225 km. On the floor of Clavius, I could not only see the well-known semi-circular row of craters (Rutherfurd, Clavius D, C, N and J) but also numerous smaller craters. Towards the southern rim I could see between 10 and 15 of these small features on the lava flooded floor of Clavius. On the crater’s circular rim I saw 4 smaller craters superimposed, Rutherfurd and Porter on the east, and Clavius K and L on the opposite side. This was also the first time I had a closer look at the walls of Clavius. There were numerous small craters visible, and some parts of the rim looked like they were more or less slumped and degraded.
There were three craters visible with well-defined central peak(s), Tycho, Longomontanus and Moretus. Moretus also showed its terraced walls tonight, a very pretty sight. On the floor of Gruemberger, there was a feature that casted a needle-shaped shadow, but I don’t know if Gruemberger really has a kind of central peak. The floor of Gruemberger looked very rough, not smooth, like the floor of Longomontanus. Maginus looked like a good example of an older crater with degraded walls, while Tycho is the complete opposite, a very young crater with an extensive ray-system (that is best observed around full Moon).

I roamed through this wonderful area for more than two hours, and at the end of my observing session I shot a few images. I’m really proud of the image below, which is the sharpest single-shot image I ever managed to get of this particular interesting region. I used the 8-ich TAL 200K, the Nikon Coolpix 4500 and a 20mm Vixen Lanthanum eyepiece (equipped with a Baader IR block-filter). I also used a 2x Xtend-a-View pro from EagleEye OpticZoom. This little gadget made focusing the coolpix a lot easier.

Anyway, both images below are identical, but the image on the left is simply the image as it is and on the image on the right I added the names for the most prominent (and some not so prominent) features in the Longomontanus-Clavius-Moretus region. Click on the images to enlarge. Enjoy!

image image

The image is a single shot image (not stacked) taken on January 9th 2006, 21.06 UT. Shutter time was 1/30s, f=5.1, 4x optical zoom, iso 100. The image was processed (unsharp masking, resize, levels, de-noised on several different levels).

Posted by Math on 01/15 at 10:26 AM
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