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Patrick Moore's Guide to the Moon

Patrick Moore's Guide to the Moon

Patrick Moore's Guide to the Moon
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Familiar and mysterious by equal measure, Earth's constant companion has fascinated astronomers for generations, none more so than the late Sir Patrick Moore. This new volume, collecting the best of the lunar observing columns Patrick wrote for BBC Sky at Night Magazine, is the ideal aid for your explorations of our Moon. Learn all about our natural satellite, then see why it enchanted our editor emeritus for yourself.

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United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
10,07 €(VAT inclusa)

in questo numero

2 minuti

I can’t remember the first time I looked at the Moon, nor when I realised that it was a hunk of rock rather than a ball of cheese. As far back as I can recall it has always been there, a fact as plain as the sky is blue, a constant companion as Earth falls through its orbit around the Sun. I suspect I’m not alone, nor that I’m the only one to have taken for granted what a marvellous world it really is – not just a silvery orb, but a place of intricate landscapes riddled with countless craters, lofty peaks and scything valleys. A world that never turns away from Earth, but looks different every single day. Yet in astronomy we have a habit of regarding our neighbour as…

5 minuti
patrick’s perspectives once a moon man always a moon man

I had my first telescopic view of the Moon when I was seven years old. A family friend, Major AE Levin, had his observatory in Selsey and I went there (long before I came to live there myself) to use his 6-inch refractor. The Moon was our first target; I looked through the eyepiece and saw the mountains, the craters and the valleys, obviously without understanding what they really were. I was fascinated, and I remember saying, “When I grow up I’m going to study the Moon.” I did. Of course, things were different in 1930. We knew much less about the Moon than we do now; it was thought that the atmosphere might be substantial enough for thin clouds to form and that a certain amount of volcanic activity might…

12 minuti
our constant companion

NEED TO KNOW AGE 4.5 billion years DIAMETER 3,475km MASS 0.0123 Earths AVERAGE DISTANCE 384,400km AVERAGE ORBITAL VELOCITY 3,679km/h ORBITAL PERIOD 27.3 Earth days LUNAR CYCLE 29.5 Earth days SURFACE GRAVITY One-sixth that of Earth The source of our ocean tides, subtle chronobiological cycles and the only other world that humankind has so far set foot upon, the Moon seems a familiar and tangible place. A quarter of Earth’s diameter and just a quarter of a million miles away, it’s 100 times closer than Venus. Given its proximity, brightness and large apparent size, it’s easy to see why the Moon has enchanted humankind for centuries. Before the emergence of widespread street lighting, the Moon was the primary source of light for nocturnal activities. Its sheer size and regular cycle of phases made it an obvious timepiece to our ancient ancestors,…

2 minuti
sizing up the moon

THE MOON vs THE UK The Moon’s diameter is 3,475km, roughly a quarter of Earth’s. The straight-line distance between Land’s End in England and John o’ Groats in Scotland is 960km, roughly a quarter of the Moon’s diameter. From Earth, the Moon has an apparent diameter that varies between 33.6 and 29.4 arcseconds, with a mean value of 31.1 arcseconds. For simplicity’s sake, the Moon’s apparent diameter is normally described as being 0.5º. COPERNICUS vs THE MIDLANDS Copernicus is a ray crater to the south of the Imbrium Basin. Its 90km-diameter rim contains a central mountain peak complex rising to 1,200m, which is four times the height of the Shard in London. If Copernicus was centred on Birmingham, the rim would reach out almost as far as Leicester, while the longest ejecta rays…

1 minuti
mountains on the moon

MONS HUYGENS 5.4km high Mons Huygens is located within the southern Apennines. At its highest, the peak rises to an altitude of 5.4km, and from its north to its south it measures 50km. MONS HADLEY 4.8km high Mons Hadley lies in the northern Apennines, just to the northeast of Hadley Rille, and at 4.8km is the highest peak in this region. It overlooks the Apollo 15 landing site. MOUNT EVEREST 8.8km high MONS PITON 2.25km high Mons Piton is another isolated peak in the Imbrium Basin, lying roughly 130km west of crater Cassini. It rises 2.25km above the basin floor and is best seen at first quarter. MONS PICO 2.4km high Mons Pico is an isolated peak in the Imbrium Basin. Located 180km to the south of crater Plato, Pico rises 2.4km and casts an impressive pointed shadow…

5 minuti
patrick’s perspectives changing craters and shifting seas

The Moon has always been my main interest from an observational point of view, and has been so ever since I had my first glimpse of it through a telescope, which was in 1929. My own observation notebooks date back to 1931, when I had reached the advanced age of eight. In those days we knew comparatively little about the Moon, and there were various problems. Some have now been solved, while others have not. I thought that it might be interesting to look back at a few of these. First, the question of changes on the surface. There were two main craters which had been suspected of alteration: Linné and Messier. The first really good map of the Moon was produced in 1836 by two Germans, Wilhelm Beer and Johann…