365 Days of the Moon -- August 18, 2014

Fracastorius and Piccolomini

I don't often get lost on the Moon, but I did with this photo. As you can guess, I am a fan of the big dramatic gaping holes along the terminator. I tripped over this scene Saturday morning while cruising for targets of opportunity at 7000mm focal length with my Skyris 274M camera. I am not sure what visual magnification that equates to, but it must be nearly 1000. At the time I didn't recognize the crater configuration due to the deep shadows. After processing it, it took me a while to realize the two big craters are Fracastorius at the top and Piccolomini as at the bottom. We visited a more illuminated Fracastorius a few days ago. Piccolomini however is a newcomer to 365 Days of the Moon. I'll bet you can't say that crater's name real fast five times and not have you day brightened! Fracastorius as we remember is a lava flooded horseshoe bay-like crater on the southern shore of Mare Nectaris. Its central peak has been buried by mare lava flows. The crater is so wide that the natural curvature of the Moon is protruding the center of its floor up into the rays of the setting sun that spill over the crater's rim. At the left, the tip of Piccolomini's central peak also just catch the setting sun.

Image taken with a Celestron 11 Edge HD, 2.5X Powermate, and Skyris 274M camera.

Image copyright Robert Reeves 2014

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