L100: Mare Marginis Swirls

Sketch made on 21 May 2015 (moon age 3.7) using a SkyWatcher 10″ and a Televue Nagler zoom 3-6 mm. North is up.

Mare Marginis is located on the northeastern edge of the lunar nearside, right next to Mare Crisium. Where the latter has a circular shape, associated with a large impact crater, Mare Marginis has an irregular outline, suggesting that it is the result of several smaller craters being flooded with lavas.

The mare as such is not in the Lunar 100, but so is some swirlings at its northern edge. At favorable libration the Marginis swirls are not as difficult as its Lunar 100 number might suggest (the list being sorted according to difficulty). Observed at a three days old moon, I actually found the mare more difficult to trace than the swirls. In the sketch the swirls are marked by the large white patch right at the edge in the upper half of the sketch. The swirls had some structure to it, but due to rather poor seeing it wouldn’t stabilize enough to sketch.

The crater just south of the swirl is Goddard, and the two craters at the bottom is Neper and Jansky.


L57: Reiner Gamma

Reiner Gamma is a bright swirl on the western borders of Oceanus Procellarum, and close to crater Reiner. The feature is not elevated above the mare, but is due to a different hue of the soil. The lunar swirls are associated with strong magnetic anomalies that are believed to keep the solar wind from darkening the mare material. Observed during high sun the feature was quite distinct. The ‘tail’ could be traced to its full extension. Consulting maps and images the ridge indicated in the sketch seems to be a misrepresented part of the swirl.

Reiner gamma
Sketch made 10 July 2014 using a SkyWatcher 10″ and a TeleVue Nagler zoom 3-6 mm. North is down.