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Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr110 Photography Projects, Fall 2005

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Moon, Melissa Rick

Moon

The Moon is not only a looming magnificent presence in our sky, but also a source of wonder and imagination for centuries. The Moon consists of mostly rocky material. The majority of the craters on the surface of the moon were made during the first few hundred million years of our solar system. This time a variety of left over material from the formation of the solar system pelted the surface of the Moon, leaving the massive craters we observe today. Few new craters have been formed in the last four billion years.

As the Moon orbits around the earth, its appearance in the night sky changes on its consistent cycle of lunar phases. It appears this way in the sky because of its relative position to the sun and and the earth. Each lunar phase is about 29 1/2 days, which explains the origin of the word month. Not only are monthly cycles determined by the moon, but we can also determine the time of day by looking at where the moon is in the sky and its phase.

For example, in this photograph the moon is in its waning crescent phase. If this was overhead, it would be 9am. If the waning crescent is observed in the west, it is around noon. In this picture some of the Moon's craters are visible. Observing, this photo also tells us where the sun is relative to the Moon in this phase (the sun is facing the left side). In this photograph the moon appears 30' in angular size. The linear size of the moon is 3,300 km.

References:
Bennett, The Cosmic Perspective

Filters used blue(B)
Exposure time per filter 30 seconds in B (Mosaic of 8 fields)
Date observed

October 27, 2005 (9am)