When is the best time to see the moon with a telescope

(ORDO NEWS) — If you were lucky enough to receive a telescope as a gift, then most likely the first object of your observations will be our closest neighbor in space – the Moon.

But when is the best time to contemplate the moon through a telescope? Probably, beginners in astronomy will unanimously say that the best time to observe the moon is a full moon. However, in reality the opposite is true. The time when the moon is fully illuminated is the worst for contemplating it! The full moon is dazzling and looks flat.

It is best to observe the Moon through a telescope when the satellite is in the first or last quarter phase. It is at this time that astronomers can enjoy the lunar landscape along the line of sunrise and sunset or the terminator. The terminator is the boundary between the illuminated and shadow parts of the moon.

During the first or last quarter phase of the moon, unlike the full moon, with a telescope with low optical power or even powerful binoculars, we can view the surface of the moon in detail.

Approximately at the time when the Moon is only half-illuminated or is in phase between the first quarter and the full moon or the full moon and the last quarter, the relief of the areas along the line of the light division is clearly visible.

During the full moon, the moon is almost completely illuminated, especially in the area around its center. The sun illuminates the entire surface of a celestial body, even microscopic cracks, and with the exception of the immediate edge, we will not find visible shadows.

How does the brightness of the moon differ in the first and last quarter of the phase and during the full moon? It would be logical to assume that the brightness of a half-lit disk should be exactly half the brightness of the full moon.

However, in fact, during the first quarter, the brightness of the moon is only 1/11 of the brightness during the full moon. This is due to the fact that even the illuminated half of the Moon is very dark. Paradoxically, just 2.4 days before the full moon, the brightness of the illuminated part of the moon reaches half the brightness of the full moon.

Finally, have you ever paid attention to the way in which artists depict the moon? Almost always, the paintings show either a young month or a full moon. Half of the Moon is depicted much less often, but it will be difficult to find paintings with a quarter of the night star.

Interestingly, the Moon is most clearly visible in the night sky in the phase between the first quarter and the full moon or the full moon and the last quarter. It is also noteworthy that, when viewed with the naked eye, the Moon appears to be full for two or even three nights before and after the full moon.

We often contemplate the “crescent” Moon for the reason that it is visible in the sky longer than midnight. In fact, it can be distinguished during the day. As for the young month, which is often depicted by artists, in this phase the Moon is visible only in the early evening or in the morning.


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