1998 Mar 4
Another pretty good night, though the weather in San Jose CA was
expected to be shaky to terrible. My luck is running.
Observations through C8 at 300x, with some later unnoted
contemplation at about 165x.
Rukl Page 5
First on my list was the crater Baillaud, simply because I'd not noticed
it before, and at first glance realized it looks tres cool. It's large,
flat, and has a perfect "central crater" that caught the light in such a
way as to have a pitch dark center and flaring rims. Kinda neat.
Rima Sheepshanks was uncharacteristically elusive tonight; I have
found it easily in the past, and had to really work for it, only getting
sections at a time. The seeing seemed good, so I guess this is a trick
of the light at this libration and angle.
Aristotle(s) was simply amazing. The small crater chains and rills
above it were blinking in and out, while the interior was only half lit.
In this crossing light, the central peaklets and interior ruts were
highly visible and extremely interesting.
Rukl Page 6
Unlike Rima Sheepshanks, Rima Gartner (in the semighost crater of the
same name) was very easy. I don't recall noting this before, but it
showed very easily in this light as a sinuous curving rille that gets
fatter toward the north of the crater. This is one of those objects that
gets more interesting with longer contemplation.
Rukl Page 13
The interior of Eudoxis was entirely obscured in shadow, but the
intricate walls and surrounding mountainous terrain showed very well.
There was also some evidence of the upper terracing inside... I've often
seen it better, but it's always worth a glance.
The small but notable Rima Calippus was on and off in the seeing,
but with some patience could be seen fairly thoroughly. Here, I'm not
sure I agree with Rukl's drawing in that my own observation shows it
going through a minor wrinkle ridge, where he shows it stopping short. I
would be interested in hearing about other observations of this little
Just to the east of the southern tip of the Caucasus was another
phenomenal dome sighting, slightly past the bits of rubble on the
interior edge of Mare Serenitatus. I know of no name for this dome, but
as it was just on the edge of the terminator, it was perfectly lit and
seemed much taller than it probably is. It seemed to have multiple
"central" craters and possibly a few largish "boulderish" thingies on it
as well; an odd duck of a dome for sure.
Serenitatis itself was dull by comparison with last night, and
Poseidonius still showed well, but was disappointing after last night's
Rukl Page 23
Rima Sulpicius Gallus was in very odd illumination, just on the
terminator. Usually it appears dark and distinct, but I was lucky enough
to catch it when the light was reflecting precisely off one of the
interior walls, making it a bright gash in the portions that run north
south, transiting into a dark squiggle further south as it turns to the
east. Some interesting detail was also visible in the roughly parallel
foothills of the Montes Haemus; it looked almost as a study in light and
dark, or as if there were more than one rille present.
The rest of Rimae Menelaus showed up for the party tonight; it's a
particularly fine and tangled rille complex leading toward the crater
Tacquet (which has a neat name so I had to mention it). In the moments
of best seeing the area reminded me of cracked adobe soil.
Rukl Page 35
The northern sections of Rimae Maclear were much more easily seen than
the southern stretches; for those I had to wait impatiently. But after a
while, they showed themselves. But I have to admit part of the problem
was the more distinct Rimae Sosigenes kept drawing my eye away: they are
long long long and in my inadvertently averted vision they kept growing
and growing... though they also appeared fainter to the south. And, of
course, jabbing right at them was the amazingly black and obvious
Ariadaeus Rille, a magnificent canal easily seen in just about any
A bit further south, Rimae Ritter were very elusive. I only caught
glimpses of some short stretches, which surprised me due to the ease
with which the rest of the rilles around the rim of Tranquilitatis were
spotted. The twin craters Sabine and Ritter showed a nice amount of
interior detail of tiny craters and fractures, having just recently come
into the full light.
Rukl Page 46
Continuing around the rim of Mare Tranqui (sounds like a latin drink) we
come to the rest of Rima Hypatia. It wasn't as easy as it had been last
night, but at least I could see the whole thing.
A little more than half way along a direct line from Theophilus to
Delamore I spotted a curious little structure that looked more or less
like a short rille, but have not been able to confirm it with any
present charts. Another interesting tidbit similar to that presented
itself to me in Kant D, a more or less flooded semighost ruined mess
with a flat floor. Both general areas present a wealth of details and
Rukl Page 57
If you have not yet pondered Catena Abulfeda (which I think I only
spotted for the first time late last year) you should definitely try to
keep track of this area. It's one of the best crater lines on the moon,
and is all the more interesting for cutting through such rough terrain
west of the remains of Catharina.
Also of note is the silly-named Sacrobosco, which is nicely shaped
and has three nearly perfect medium craters inside.
Rukl Page 67
I found myself drawn to Stiborius tonight, as it was just coming into
its own in the light, and had a very interesting interior structure,
with mountains that seemed to almost form a chevron or "sergeant's
strips." About half the interior is smooth and half structured, creating
an interesting aesthetic.
1998 Mar 4