Observing conditions during yesterday’s lunar eclipse were excellent here in Gothenburg. Clear blue skies, still 24 degrees C at midnight this extraordinary hot Swedish summer. I decided to observe the eclipse from a hillside in Slottsskogen, the city’s largest park. And I was not alone. Apparently the heads-up for the eclipse had reached many Swedes, and it turned into a social event with people crowding all the park sites with a good view to the southeast.
The moon rose at 21:40 (CEST). Around ten o’clock people around me started to get anxious and I had to reassure them that they hadn’t missed the event, and that they just needed to be patient. As luck had it ISS happened to pass by, which drew some cheers from the crowd and probably stopped some from turning back home.
And then there it was. Occupied pointing it out to everyone I didn’t check the exact time, but around half eleven a very faint dark moon had appeared a couple of degrees above the southeastern horizon. And it soon got better. At eleven the reddish hue of the blood moon was obvious.
I had planned to make some sketches with my 7×45 binos, but it was difficult to focus with people moving about, asking questions, borrowing the binos and so on. Below are some of the resulting, quite rough sketches.
All in all this was a memorable evening. The weather was perfect, the moon at it best, and on top of that a cheerful crowd, many of them experiencing a lunar eclipse for the first time.
A rather quick sketch of Mare Humorum and a number of prominent craters, including Mersenius and Gassendi. The seeing for once was perfect, but after having finished several other sketches the same evening my endurance failed me.
Below is an earlier sketch focusing on the Gassendi crater. This was my first try at a close up sketch of one of the larger craters. At the time seeing was perfect, but light clouds kept interfering.
This very impressive crater on the north-eastern shores of Mare Serenitatis was captured on a night of average seeing. Still quite a lot of detail was visible. Part of a secondary inner ring could be traced on the east and west side, and the small crater (Posidonius A) near the center was very prominent. The rilles crisscrossing the crater floor couldn’t be resolved.
This is one of my favorite regions on the moon, and it is also where I started out doing moon observations. I have done several sketches of the region, but so far no detailed studies of Aristarchos. The former is rich in detail and very bright, especially compared to neighboring Herodotos. Schröter’s Valley is a sinuous rille, that is believed to have been one of the major lava sources of Oceanus Procellarum. To the right is the moon’s thinnest mountain chain, Montes Agricola.
Arguably the most impressive craters on the near side of the moon. The level of detail is very difficult to capture for a lunar newbie like myself. This is my first try, and I will for sure give it another go further down the road.
Dionysius was formed at the border between the darker mare and the brighter basin ejecta. The jumble of bright and dark rays seen around the crater was created at the impact, and is a mix of the different materials. At the eyepiece the rays were quite obvious, but difficult to capture in the sketch. To the east (left) a beautiful pair of low rim craters, Sabine and Ritter.