For many of us, our first experience of the planets surrounding our earth starts when we saw our first full moon in the sky. A fantastic and awe inspiring view even to the naked eye. If the sky is cloudless, it is possible to see staggering features of the moon's face merely star gazing in your garden or from your window.
Naturally, as you get more interested in astronomy, you will be interested in all the planets. But the moon will always be our first love for the reason that it is the one remote space object that has the unique characteristic of flying close to the earth and being the one on which man has walked.
Your examination of the moon, like anything else, can move from the straightforward to the exceptionally difficult. To gaze at the moon with the naked eye, making yourself familiar with the moon map will help you to find the seas, craters and other geographic phenomenon that other people have already mapped to ensure your learning is more gratifying. Moon maps can be bought from many astronomy shop or shops or on the net and they are well worth the outlay.
The best moment in time to see the moon clearly, is at night when you will find hardly any clouds and the conditions are accommodating for a prolonged and continuing study. When the moon just shows the first quarter you will have the most detail to examine. And do not be misled by the blotting out of part of the moon when it is not in the full moon stage. The occurrence known as "earthshine" offers you a great opportunity to catch sight of the darkened part of the lunar surface in detail as well, even though the moon is merely at quarter or half display.
A good pair of binoculars will enable you to see amazing detail on the moon's surface. For the very best results, calibrate the settings for a good wide field when change the setting son the binocular so you can observe the lunar panorama in all its incredible beauty.
As it is almost impossible to keep the binoculars motionless for the length of time you want to gaze at this magnificent body in space, you may well want to buy a good quality stand or tripod that you can attach the binoculars to so that you will be able to study the lunar surface in comfort and with a firm viewing platform.
Naturally the more that you get involved you might want to upgrade your telescope to a superior "starter" telescope which will provide you with the most amazing details of the moon's surface. As you upgrade your equipment your knowledge of the subject will also improve.
So to take it to the next level, you might consider joining up with like-minded astronomers or you could visit one of the many fantastic "professional" telescopes that have been put up by professional scientists. These telescopes have facilities to eliminate atmospheric interference so that the moon can be seen more clearly.
Don't forget that there are many astronomy clubs where you can learn more about astronomy.
There is even software that allows you to view the moving planets in 3D on your computer from the comfort of your own home.
So do enjoy your journey to the stars.
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