Main Moon and Saturn’s Moons

It wasn’t a very good weekend in this are for 100  Hours of Astronomy. But Sunday night it cleared up, and I packed the old white telescope into the old white Honda and headed downtown. Or should I say ‘ghost town’? For a while my first visitor was a cat. She was wary of me, paused, and then moved on.


I moved the scope down the street and parked it in front of Main Moon Chinese Restaurant. Given that the moon was out, I thought that was fitting. Here’s my scope and the restaurant:


I showed the moon and Saturn, and it’s four easily visible moons to about 7 people. Two young ladies who were delivering food for Main Moon, one customer who was waiting, a nice man who just passed by, and Kevin, the owner of Main Moon and one of his staff. Everyone enjoyed it. I could barely pick out the brightest stars because of all the glare. My house is just a mile away and the sky is actually pretty dark, but all the round globe streetlights downtown throw orange light up and out–not down on the ground which is where I guess people should really want it. Anyway, young astronomers downtown would be excused for thinking that the night sky is made up of the moon and a handful of bright “stars,” most of which are actually planets. Hmmm, maybe Geneva needs a dark sky ordinance?

Anyway, I took a few images of the moon through the eyepiece. This is just holding my Canon DSLR up to the eyepiece. I should get an adapter to mount the camera there, I might have better results, although these are not so bad:

The terminator line on the moon (line between day and night) is the best place to see real definition in the surface features.

The terminator line on the moon (line between day and night) is the best place to see real definition in the surface features.

A little lower on the terminator.

A little lower on the terminator

Astronomers who love to observe the moon sometimes jokingly refer to themselves as “lunatics”. However, their etymology is pretty accurate:

lunatic |ˈloōnəˌtik|

a mentally ill person (not in technical use).

ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French lunatique, from late Latin lunaticus, from Latin luna ‘moon’ (from the belief that changes of the moon caused intermittent insanity).

Unfortunately, I remember from my time in Washington DC that most of the homeless around Dupont Circle had outpatient hospital wrist-bracelets on, and most of them seemed schizophrenic. It’s a shame that our mentally ill are too often left to sleep under the moonlight that was once thought to be the cause of their maladies. Just a little thought.


3 thoughts on “Main Moon and Saturn’s Moons

  1. Love the concept of what you are doing. I was wondering when you will be out again? I would really like to look at the night sky in Geneva through your telescope. I was able to see the moon and the rings of Saturn in the middle of the Outback in White Cliffs, Australia in 2000. It was a great experience …no lights, no trees, just abandon opal mines and hills of white gypsum and the beautiful Southern Hemisphere sky. Can you see the Jewel Box from the Northern Hemisphere? Probably not, huh, as I think that is in the Southern Cross, maybe? Anyway, let me know at time you usually set up and what nights… I will come out and gaze at the heavens with you. Karen

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