The Moon last night




The gibbous Moon on 10 September 2008, images Nick Lomb

Here are a few pictures of the gibbous Moon from last evening 10 September 2008. They were taken through through Sydney Observatory’s 40-cm Meade mirror telescope using afocal photography. That is, a little Pentax digital camera was hand-held up to the eyepiece and a picture snapped. The Moon is the easiest astronomical object to photograph and good results can be achieved. Not fully, on this occasion though, as the images are not quite as sharp as they should be. Whether this was because the focus on the telescope was not at infinity or because the exposures were hand-held or because there was a thin haze in front of the Moon or a combination of all three, I am unsure.

Hopefully, a lunar expert (Hello Harry) will identify the lunar features that can be seen on the images, especially the large crater that spectacularly is partly in shadow.


3 responses to “The Moon last night

  • Hello Nathan. You weren’t likely to see the Moon on 19 September as it did not rise in Sydney until 10:16 pm. The phase of the Moon was then waning gibbous, that is is, it was between full and last quarter. You can see what it looked like if you go the US Naval Observatory’s virtual moon website at When putting in the time just remember that in the eastern states we are 10 hours ahead of Universal Time (UT). And most importantly, turn the image upside down as we are in the southern hemisphere. Good luck with your school project.

  • Hello
    What did the moon look like to the naked eye on 19th September 2008 from observatory hill, as I need to draw this for a school project. Please note I was out walking to and from a restaurant with my family for dinner and we did not see the moon at all, is there such thing as a black moon? If so , how would I draw this for my school project.
    Many thanks

  • Nick

    The top pic shows Sinus Iridum or “Bay of Rainbows” named by Riccioli in 1651. Its a 260 km dia crater that happened soon after the M Imbrium impact, and was partly submerged by basalt lavas. Similar (though much smaller) half submerged craters are found around the edge of Mare Humorum.


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