Orontius Sunrise

1998 Jan 5

This evening (1998 Jan 6 0400 UT) I set up my Meade 12" LX200 and had a nice long look at the Moon. I have a Ziess/AstroPhysics/Baader binoviewer which makes observing the Moon an almost aeronautical experience. With a pair of 19mm Panoptics you really do feel like one of the Apollo astronauts flying over that cold and barren but oh so beautiful landscape.

With some difficulty I drew my attention away from the Mare Imbrium area and scanned down the terminator to see if I could find a "sunrise ray". And sure enough, there was one shining along the NW rim of Orontius (see Rukl chart 65). After a while it started to illuminate the rim of the little crater Orontius D. At one point it looked to me just like a connecting rod with a big bearing and no piston just hanging there in space.

Last night (with my little Pronto) I had my first real look at Rima Hyginus and Rima Ariadaeus. But I got a little confused because not enough of it was visible. And I looked for Rimae Boscovich with no success. Today (with the bigger scope and more favorable illumination) they were all easy. Boscovich was dramatically so; last night it just wasn't there despite some hard looking; tonight it was totally obvious. And tonight I also got my first look at Rimae Triesnecker. Wow! I think I could spend a whole night tracing out all those fine little lines.

I'm slowly learning my selenography. But it is hard to study when just gawking is so much fun :-)

Bill Arnett; last updated: 1998 Feb 7