Sto­ries and strange tales from the world of am­a­teur as­tron­omy by Jonathan Pow­ell

Sky at Night Magazine - - INTERACTIV­E -

For my as­tron­omy O-level, I chose to study, sketch, and eval­u­ate the Moon’s Mare Cri­sium. Sit­ting on the north­east lu­nar limb, it’s eas­ily dis­cernible with the naked eye. With the en­cour­age­ment of the late Peter Grego, then head of the Lu­nar Sec­tion at the Ju­nior As­tro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety, I set about cap­tur­ing the Sea of Crises. How­ever, it wasn’t my 2.4-inch te­le­scope on wob­bly wooden legs that thwarted me, nor was it the lack of an elec­tric drive on said wob­bly scope. No, it was the vast un­der­es­ti­ma­tion of the time in­volved. As the Moon waxed and waned, I was not pre­pared for how night af­ter night, the most sub­tle of changes oc­curred, as the Sun’s light cap­tured the same land­scape but from a dif­fer­ent an­gle. Cap­tur­ing these changes took time – many Moons, in fact.

Jonathan Pow­ell is the as­tron­omy correspond­ent for the South Wales Ar­gus

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