Practical Astronomy

OCT-DEC 2011
ATM Telescope Making Comet Imaging Lunar Mascons

Practical Astronomy
In this issue..
3 6 8 9 DIY TELESCOPE The Birth Of Longdrop COMET GARRADD Capturing A Time Lapse SOLAR FLARE M-Class Magnitude 9.3 MASCONS Masterpieces Of Complexity

Oct-Dec 2011

First Light
Welcome to the fourth quarter 2011 issue of Practical Astronomy We have a varied collection of articles and images this month, including an ATM/DIY project and an interesting detailed article on the structure of the Moon. If you are a subscriber, please note the magazine newsletter is moving to a new email service, so please resubscribe at our website: PracticalAstronomy.com to get the email notifications. We also now have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ practicalastronomy. Good fun, if you use that service. Clear skies, Kevin Brown

15 AN APPEAL FOR HELP From Southern India 16 READERS IMAGES 18 SKY VIEW October To December 2011 26 OBSERVERS DELIGHTS October To December 2011

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Cover design: Pixeljuice snc Cover image: Johan Smit, (his ATM telescope “Longdrop”)

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Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 Editor: Kevin Brown FRAS editor@practicalastronomy.com Website: www.PracticalAstronomy.com Publisher: Structure Ltd

Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011

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And the telescope got a name. because we tend to collect stuff. Another friend of mine donated some 10mm plywood from old packing crates. Fortunately the mirror cell was heavy. And I had an abundance of light plywood. I eventually purchased the mirror. so weight at the bottom end was a given. the box was made much larger than normal. It turned out nearly square with a height of about 500mm. just because we can and one day it could possibly be used in a telescope. So. When I tested it. I soon realised that it will be a very tall telescope and a truss assembly was required. I had enough space for mounting the trusses and the scope gained some stability. I and some colleagues from our telescope making class helped his widow sort out his telescope making stuff. As any serious ATMʼer know. And on the Foucault test it seems quite reasonable. It was also generously proportioned and can stack on top of the mirror box. SA In 2010 a good friend. The shape of the mirror box resembles a pit toilet seat and the resemblance was promptly noted by my colleagues. Due to the generous proportions of the two main components stray light is well controlled and a skirt is not needed. Now I had a mirror and an idea started brewing in my head. So a fairly standard rocker box and ground board was made. as can be expected of such a slow mirror. the balance point ended just about at the top of the mirror box. that was a major exercise. Some time with my trusty jigsaw and I had workable wooded trusses. The top end was made out of 10mm plywood. So I decided to make triangles to act as trusses. The two boxes were strapped to my ladder and the whole assembly was manoeuvred to achieve focus on some distant buildings. I am a poor metal worker. we did the task and when we were finished went through the workshop one last time and found a mirror in a cell on the top of some shelves. stingy and lazy. Louis Barendse passed away. Buying aluminium and making pole mounting and joining mechanisms were not considered as a viable option. The cut-outs for the mirror box top Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 3 .DIY Telescope: The Birth Of Longdrop By Johan Smit. Smooth with just a hint of correction. I found that it was a 10” F9 mirror. mentor and fellow telescope maker. I had some 18mm pine shelving plank. Well. As luck would have it. wood I had in abundance. The mirror box was made out of the shelving plank. Solid Ω inch thick steel plate. Because I had to fit the original cell at the back. That enabled me to determine the exact truss lengths that would be needed. in memory of Louis Barendse I set about making a telescope. This turned favourable in the end. Such an article is called a long-drop in South Africa slang. The top end sits on little shelves that also have glued in bolts and wing-nuts again served to fasten the lot. The mirror that was hidden for an unknown number of years just had to see starlight. So. The bottom wide section is fastened with wing-nuts on to glued in bolts to the inside of the mirror box.

200mm PVC sewerage pipe sections were cut open and stretched around the bearing to provide a smooth surface. It does take time to fasten 12 wing-nuts. It is stable. And what amazed me most is that it stays in collimation. Rigel and its companion was cleanly split.DIY Telescope: The Birth Of Longdrop (cont) By Johan Smit. Longdrop stood tall and proud for the first time. SA That same evening saw first light on the stars. The inside of the top cage was lined with black cardboard and we have a scope that looks as impressive as it performs. Painting. And any vibrations dampen out very quickly. It does not vibrate. and bottom did service as side bearings. My son recommended that we paint it red. In the meantime it has seen service at our national Karoo star party in Britstown and was exhibited at Scope-X where it was awarded a prize for the unconventional truss assembly. so it is quite feasible and the simplicity in making the Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 4 . Despite much stray light (no light shields fitted yet) it performed better than my wildest dreams. It was stripped and two layers of undercoat and several layers of topcoat were applied. After a few thousand kilometres of travel and many assembly/disassembly cycles I hardly ever had to tweak collimation. It was also used at every other viewing opportunity that I could attend and everyone was equally impressed at the views that it provided. but from start to looking takes 10 minutes. and some other favourites (the jewel box and M42) show that I have a good working scope. Pros and Cons: The whole assembly works better than I imagined. So we settled on a signal red and matt black colour scheme. It just come together perfect every time. Then came the part that I dislike the most.

The finder scope system is still clunky. it is a long drop to the ground. SA scope and the stability makes up for the effort in assembly. but the addition of a folded up face towel between the ground board and the rocker box provides just the right amount of friction. To improve the Azimuth movement a flat steel ring (38mm x 3mm flat bar) was added to the bottom of the mirror box. Simply visit the website and subscribe.. The altitude bearing surface was changed to Teflon (cheap furniture sliders). If you lose your balance on the ladder. so a few tweaks were done and now it is an absolute pleasure to control. Conclusion Using the scope I found another reason for its name. if you find the original origin too vulgar you can use this one. Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 5 . If you consider making a truss tube telescope. I can recommend going this route. It is simple to make with the minimum of tools and is as stable as anything else I have seen. So. That made the movement too smooth. Enjoy BACK ISSUES and BONUSES.DIY Telescope: The Birth Of Longdrop (cont) By Johan Smit.. www.com/subscribe You’ll also get priority notification when the next issue of Practical Astronomy is ready to download.PracticalAstronomy. You’ll be sent the current password for the Members’ Area. I forced the steel around the ring and welded the ends together. Movements were not as smooth as I wished for. I am in the process of improving it and soon Longdrop will be perfect. This runs in V-groove pulleys that sit directly on the ground spaced at 120 degrees.

then centered it in the field of view. I then told the software to slew the telescope to comet Garradd. I'm just an Amateur "seat of the pants" Astronomer. Celestron f6. USA. here's how I set out to take a time lapse of Comet Garrad this past August.5 and downloaded the latest comet file to make sure all the coordinates were up to date. I mounted the Celestron C9. and Voyager 4. I took another high ISO 10 second image to note the Comet's centering in the image field. and got a sharp focus on Vega.25 on the CGEM along with the Orion Guide Scope. I do most of my Astrophotography with a unmodified Canon 500D DSLR using the Canon capture software that came with the camera. The good thing about the Canon 500D. I then started PHD Guiding and connected to the Autoguider. used the starfield in the PHD window to make centering corrections (with guiding turned off of course!) using the CGEM handbox with the guide rate set to 2. Nothing I use is the absolute best (is there. I opened the "Live View" window. So now that you know what I'm using. I then connected to the telescope mount using Voyager's "Telescope Control" option. Using the Canon capture software. and balanced it all during the late afternoon. etc. I had the scope slew to Vega. which synchronized with Vega. and a Celestron C9. and took a 15 second exposure to check the centering of Comet Garradd. and if necessary. When it finally became dark enough. we are all focused and aligned with Vega. On cold nights here in Ohio. I started up Voyager 4. I use VNC server on the Windows PC in the Observatory. I've settled on a 110mm ED APO Refractor. and let it go through the calibration routine. found a suitable star. is that it will take it's own "dark frames" for exposures taken using the "bulb" setting. but I get the most out of what I have.5 software for advanced object location and telescope control. I then synced the CGEM mount to Vega using the CGEM hand controller. and turned the guiding back on. Once I was happy with the centering (verified by a few more short exposures). Using the Canon software. so I wouldn't have to mess with it in the dark. and turned on the Canon 500D. 500D. I use a pillar mounted Celestron CGEM. USA First of all.25 SCT.3 focal reducer/corrector. and the VNC for Macintosh client to remote control it all from inside the nice and warm house. First. I found a bright guide star in the PHD window. Since I had already Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 6 . I also made all the cable connections. Orion Starshoot Autoguider. really?). Next. I set the ISO rating to "high". To this point.Comet Garradd: Capturing A Time Lapse By Bi! Pearce. so I would be ready to go. I started out with aligning the CGEM with a two star alignment and four calibration stars.

htm The image here is taken from the same movie. no matter how good the mount alignment is. I always use the above mentioned alignment routine unless waking the mount up from the Hibernate mode. and went inside to remote control it all using VNC. Keeping in mind that the Canon 500D takes an equal time dark frame for each long exposure image. I created a new image. and imported them into Adobe Image Ready. stick to it.com Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 7 . I next changed the ISO setting on the camera to 1600. and ready to go. When I was ready. Next. transferred my images. because Quicktime uses less overhead. I set the time lapse to 10 minutes to give it sufficient time for processing.T. and we all have a method to our madness. and exported it again as a Quicktime Movie. just take a little time and patience to get the best out of what you have to work with. and flattened the final image. settling on the two minute exposure as the best for this particular night. Ohio. The one minute exposure looked good. Everyone is not the same. Once you get a good system and workflow that works for you. I hope I have not made this seem over-complicated. My initial goal was to make the Movie of Comet Garradd which can be viewed by clicking the following link: http://neoimagers. I stayed outside with the equipment for the first two images. Canfield. I used Quicktime to export three images. As a side note. and exported the sequence as a Flash Movie. especially an iPhone. I always re-calibrate the Autoguider in PHD with every new target I image. it's really not that hard. USA bill@neoimagers. and works on every platform. I then set the number of exposures to thirty. fine tuned it again.Comet Garradd: Capturing A Time Lapse (cont. At 7:30 U. USA done the guide calibration. it would start getting light. I was all set. I then adjusted the three images for opacity. equal time apart. but a matter of procedure and workflow. and saved the completed image in JPEG format. I made minor corrections. Happy Imaging. I then added the text. and headed to the sack. into Photoshop. so I took a few more images at different times.) By Bi! Pearce. For this image. rolled the roof on. In Image Ready. I exported it to Quicktime. (3:30 AM here in Ohio) I called it quits because in another hour and a half or so.com/Video/Comet %20Garradd/Garradd_08302011/Garradd. I transferred the images to Photoshop Lightroom and created a Preset to correct the images in batch mode. I parked the scope in "Hibernate" mode. you don't need the "Best Of The Best" to do really nice Astro-Photography. Bill Pearce. and imported the three images as separate layers. Remember. In Photoshop. I opened up the Flash Movie in Flash Professional. and took a one minute test exposure to verify tracking and centering. I then exported the images to a new folder. has better internet streaming.

com/Solar/e-CALLISTO/ecallisto.3 flare was detected at 03:54 UT on 8th August 2011 with spectral indications from 150 to over 800 MHz.com Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 8 .reeve. The attached spectrogram shows time on the horizontal scale and frequency (descending) on the vertical scale.Solar Flare: M-Class magnitude 9.PracticalAstronomy. The spectrometer consists of a receiver and log periodic antenna. More information on the e-CALLISTO as well as additional spectrograms can be found here: http://www.com/submit-article Use the above link. The antenna tracks the Sun from sunrise to sunset. to contribute articles and/or images to Practical Astronomy. The detection was by my e-CALLISTO solar spectrometer at Reeve Observatory in Anchorage.htm Contribute Your Articles And Images and become a worldwide published author (no joke) www. The color indicates the intensity of each time/frequency pixel where blue/black is low (cold) and yellow/red is high (hot).3 . Reeve The M9. Alaska USA.8 Aug 2011 By Whitham D. if you prefer to: editor@practicalastronomy. Or send by email.

starting as early as the 1950's. would become frozen in a static state. 2. Simultaneously. after extensive research and continued data coming from the Orbiter 5 satellite. In a short sequence. the iron rich mantle uplift and lava flows would create the mascon. but all this gain has been from a distance.C. this was dismissed as not credible and is now fundamentally believed to be the results of huge impacts on the Moon's surface. an impact would have instantly created an excavation basin. imaging techniques and Doppler. Mascon Formation All impact basins and mascons exhibit unique geology and structures. short for mass concentrations (Muller & Sjogren. enough data was being accumulated about the Moon's gravitational anomalies that an acceptable theory about what the anomalies were and how they were formed was near. 2010). This colossal force not only produced the traumatic fracturing but also an impact rebound that triggered the uplifting of the mantle bringing it to or close to the surface. Muller and Sjogren received credit in the spring of 1968 for the discovery of these (high-density) mass concentrations.D. all mascons still share a common geological history. This benchmark of insight set the stage for more intensive on-going research. but it serves as a basic framework in which a more comprehensive understanding can be developed. especially those found on the farside. It is true that our knowledge has steadily grown about mascons. However.Mascons: Masterpieces Of Complexity By Ron Brooks. They found that the midpoint of the disks emanated the strongest positive gravitational anomalies while the outer edges produced a negative gravitational anomaly (Muller & Sjorgren. it was suggested that mascons might have been caused by collisions with heavy bodies of nickel and iron. In most cases. Sjogren felt certain enough to describe the geological formations that produced the gravitational anomalies and assign the name mascon(s). Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 9 . Gravitational Anomalies Investigations and predictions by H. The references can provide a basis for anyone wishing to pursue in-depth readings. Ed. The above sequence is rather simplistic. 1968). During early research.L. leading to some significant discoveries. 1972).M. The growing accumulation of data was showing that something definitely was going on over the maria. Then by the mid 1960's. P. A decade later. Muller and Sjogren theorized that mantle uplifting after an impact produced near surface mass shaped disks (not to be thought of as necessarily circular). However. in 1966. Urey. 1. Together. A thorough understanding will most likely not happen until the long awaited time arrives that we are able to move about the Moon again and conduct rigorous research first hand. The uplifted mantle. More Ideas Regarding Mascon Formation In the early 1970's. In the spring of 1968. Research conducted on both the near and farside has produced a great deal of data on how these enigmatic and complex anomalies formed and their effects on the Moon's gravitational field. after some degree of compensation. Of the most intriguing is that of gravitational anomalies referred to as high-density mass concentrations or mascons. were revealing the possibility that some sort of gravitational anomalies may exist within the dark maria on the Moon (Urey. 1956). the force would have broken through the Moon's crust and fractured the Moon's mantle. In recent years. The information presented is for those with varied levels of interest in the Moon and is not intended to be exhaustive or definitive in coverage. our ability to understand the anomalies has greatly improved with the use of technological advancements such as multiple synchronous satellites. Muller and W. the Russian Luna 10 Orbiter while circling the Moon confirmed these predictions by detecting anomalies generating from some of the maria (Christy. Introduction Since the 1950's knowledge of our Moon's gravitational field has grown. after a passage of time lava flows would fill the impact basin. Both received the Magellanic Medals by the American Philosophical Society in 1971 for their discovery.

and the basin uplifts where frozen in a superisostatic state long before the lava flows started (Neumann et al. In a summary rendering. 1972).. Baldwin. it seems generally accepted that lava flows did not happen immediately after impact. 1982). found that farside mascons seemingly emanate positive and negative gravitational anomalies in alternating concentric rings (Namiki. Namiki et al. the impact of fracturing set the forces in motion causing not only the basin uplifting of the mantle but also allowing an iron enriched lava to spew into the impact basin.) By Ron Brooks. the uplifted mantle structures from the impacts seemed to defy the principle of isotactic compensation and once lifted remained in a static state. This conclusion and other data about the Moon's internal thermal state seems to confirm that the Moon's crust was already ridged and the interior temperatures were cooling soon after the Moon's molten state (most agree it had one) which leads to a relative rapid (in geological time) solidification. It is possible that impact basins and their uplifted mantel formations may have lain dry for about 100-500 million years before flows began (Shoemaker. S. Arkani-Hamad concluded that there have been no thermal convection currents inside the upper 800km of the Moon since the formation of the mascons or about 3 billion years (ArkaniHamad. Ed.C. Ronca asserted the idea that some of the later flows were ìtongue shapedî indicating that later lava flows did not come from fractures below the impact basin but from fractures in the circumferential region around the basin (Ronca. This development seemed to result in the following possible events. the crustal rigidity and lower interior temperatures seemed enough to stop the compensation and hold the mantle up sufficiently to help generate a mascon.Mascons: Masterpieces Of Complexity (cont. 1970). It also induced the fast cooling of the region beneath the lava emplaced basins and in reverse caused the remelting (on a slower scale) of the base below the surrounding highlands.D. He presented the idea that a laterally heterogeneous thermal regime developed in the Moon's interior after the impact. The mass of the highlands and the additional weight and pressure brought on by the thick insulating ejecta blanket on the highlands surrounding the basin augmented the base remelting.P. The Moon's lithosphere apparently solidified at various stages of compensation for each discrete impact basin. Comer believed from their research that the topographic relief of a newly formed basin was at least 50 to 60% compensated (a seeking for equilibrium with the regional topography) by crustal thickness and temperature variations prior to any lava flows beginning. In contrast to the nearside gravitational configuration found by Muller and Sjogren. Regardless of the gravitational configurations.. (1973). This would indicate that some of the final flows were emanating from hot places likely beneath the surrounding highlands. it seems probable that any discrete mascon was not ‘frozen’ immediately but at some point in its stage of isostatic compensation.B. The thermo regime created a lithosphere that supported both the formed basin mascon and the highlands surrounding it. 3. Solomon and R. they repeatedly moved through the basin fractures. one over the other in varying degrees for over a billion years (Ronca. 1973). J. et al. this static state may not have been achieved immediately following the uplifting.. 1964. Even with isostatic compensation occurring. after studying Doppler measurements from the SELENE satellite mission in 2009. After the flows began. It is interesting to note that L. However. 1996). Mare Tranquillitatis on the nearside was used as an example of demonstrating significant compensation prior to any lava emplacement while the South Pole-Aitken basin on the farside was used as an example of not exhibiting any significant viscous relaxation (Solomon & Comer. This idea of the transfer of mass (lava) from the highlands to the impact basin is further support by Arkani-Hamad (1973b). Temperature variations or the thermal conditions below the impact basins were a major factor in solidification. Basin Lava Flows As stated earlier. However. After researching data about the viscosity of the Moon's interior. 2009a). The result of the remelting was Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 10 .

Nectaris and Humorium. 2009). Humorum. Right Image From Lunar Prospector) .. Mare Nectaris. This seems to confirm that uplifting of the Below (Figure 2) is a gravity map of the near mantle alone may be sufficient enough to and farsides of the Moon made by the Lunar produce a mascon.) By Ron Brooks. 1998).Gravitational Map Nearside (Le% Image From The Galileo Mission. As it appears. This helps to validate that enough time elapsed between flows to build up (sandwich like) stratification (Ono . Where are the Mascons? anomalies. The stress fractures became the conduits for the transfer of the viscous mass (lava) from beneath the highlands into the basin. The reader can any significant gravitational anomalies. Ed. A. There are also mascons on the Moon's farside Mare Serenitatis.. 2001). Volcanism Figure 1 . More mascons are being identified as research continues. density site followed by Maria Serenitatis. The Japanese SELENE mission revealed yet another interesting dimension to the lava flows. mantle Prospector spacecraft (Konopliv et al.S. formations on the farside (right). These dynamic events produced high stress fractures in the highland lithosphere lying between the forming viscous material and the upper levels of the highland surface. Konopliv presented evidence that about 12 additional mascons existing in impact basins have been discovered on the nearside or close to the limb (Konopliv. The red globules show the intensity of the gravitational 5. These events are complex but do eliminate any exclusivity to the concept that the basin lava flows emanated strictly from fractures beneath the impact basin. et al. It would seem very likely that most maria would have this regolith stratification.D. Mare Serenitatis was found to have a regolith coating layered between subsequent lava flows. Mare Imbrium is the highest the Moon. In 2000. The reader can see the intensity Of the five major nearside maria containing variance of the mascons on the two sides of detected mascons. an amassed collection of viscous material. Crisium. (See the Gravitational Map Figure 1). 4. density mass concentration lies between Sinus Aestuum and Sinus Medii that is probably an ancient ringed mare. This see how the red globules match the maria to finding has eliminated volcanism alone as a the full Moon image on the left. Mare Imbrium and Mare that have limited if any emplaced lava flows.Mascons: Masterpieces Of Complexity (cont.Image Credit: NASA Moon volcanism. A moderate Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 11 . has not produced the discovery of gravimetric map) are mascons. such as the large basaltic lava flows in Oceanus The 5 large red globule shapes (right Procellarum. uplifting and lava emplacements contribute to The map shows the mascons of the nearside mascon formation collectively or that uplifting (left) as shown in Figure 1 and the mascon alone can create a mascon discretely. ñright to left: Mare Crisium. Right Map serious contender as a cause of mascons. Mascons are found in Mare Orientale which wraps itself around the far western limb to the farside and the crater Grimaldi (a large walled plane) that lies close to the western limb.

However. It has not been clearly established why differences in the thermal evolution of the this has happened. Namiki. The lunar nearside is on the right sides of the Moon. The farside. it is probably lithosphere and the crustal variances would linked to several unique geological differences contribute greatly to the near and farside that have existed between the near and farside. impact basin differences. This viscous layer allowed a prolonged basin/maria deformation that continued even after the final lava emplacements.Gravitational Map . The nearside has a thinner crust placing the Namiki. generating 200 lower crust and upper mantle boundaries into a Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 12 . However. whereas the crustal/mantle boundary It is obvious in Figure 2.Near and Farside 1000K. This Note: difference would make the lithosphere much more rigid on the farside. viscous material. shown and contrasted between the near and The actual crustal and mantle boundaries' farsides. additional 33 km. The western limb of the Moon viewed from which resulted in the surface differences. Unraveling the complexities seems Within Figure 3 of the Moon.) The viscous material amassed at the crustal/ mantle boundaries Figure 2 . developed the map (Fig.Image Credit: NASA and would have contributed to the sea The gravimetric maps above clearly show like appearances of the nearside lava emplaced mascon locations. that the nearside just took larger impacts. a plausible additional displayed three basin/mascon designations: theory of differences is the comparatively very (1) Darkly shaded are Type I basins or basins high lithosphere temperatures that existed with a sharp gravity peak with excess mass at below the nearside basins as compared to the the center. farside.) By Ron Brooks.D.Near Side. problematic. However. that the nearside for the farside was less than 800K. (Sjogren.3) below mantle closer to the surface. Ed.Near and Farside (Le% . (Most likely. Differences . the ridges and rills found in the nearside maria are validation of this deformation. The intensities are also basins. can we logically say side of the figure. 2009c). temperatures for the nearside were in excess of 6. et al. Sjogren believes that demonstrates some of these geological the crust difference on the farside is close to an basin differences (Namiki.Far Side) would have also relaxed the upper lithosphere . and the farside is on the left. Earth (2700E) is at the center front. 1977). which would mascon basins are much more predominate be sufficient to produce the lower crust and and appear geologically different from the upper mantle melting (Namiki.Mascons: Masterpieces Of Complexity (cont. The enduring high temperatures under (2) Hatched shaded basins are Type 2 basins the nearside basins would have melted the that have broad gravity peaks. 2009b). Right . this is not Figure 3 displays the names and locations of to say that the crust depth is the main or only major lunar basins/mascons on both the near contributor to the maria differences on the two and farsides. Nor. et al.

3 'om: Farside Gravity Field of the Moon 'om Four-Way Doppler 7. Venus looks as if it has had no During the Apollo 16 mission in 1972. 2008). The reader can see the clear difference in the types of mascons that formed on the near vs. This of course would eliminate any This was one of the first dramatic effects of a possibility of mascon formation (Bettex. Planch. Do Mascons Exist on Measurements of SELENE (Kaguya) Reprinted with Permission 'om AAAS. to 600 less magnitude than Type 1 basins and account for the principal farside mascons. Figure. Other Rocky Planets? To this date mascons have during the Apollo 11 mission. been detected on the planet Mars and possibly In 1969. a small plate tectonics and has taken a very different subsatellite (PSF-2) was released for a scientific course. 8. The satellite was to maintain a low On our home planet. 1979). The module was for rocky planets. This convulsive the Moon's surface and then would return to a crustal movement on Earth has provided for a safe 30 miles away.) By Ron Brooks. by up to 6 kilometers by the mascon Lamont Peter James of MIT. If it were not that the Venus surface experienced some type for the skill of Neil Armstrong who took over the of catastrophic overturning about 500 million controls of the Lunar Module in the last few years ago. James further believes the being pulled off course and over a crater and a absence of mascons is consistent with the idea field of large car sized boulders. Mascons and Exploration The mascons have had dramatic effects during past exploration and will need to be considered in future planning for satellites and manned missions. One example of the effect that mascons can have was clearly demonstrated Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 13 . We know that Earth has had and the satellite came as close as 6 miles to continuous plate tectonics. 2010). Appollo. experiment. the farside. (3) The dashed lined basins are unclassified. Smythii and Mendel-Rydberg which wrap themselves around the far to the nearside. Other significant farside mascons are Hertzsprung. mascons have not been orbit around the Moon. more homogenous distribution of dense mass the satellite crashed onto the Moon.D. as shown in Figure 3. believes that plate located in the western Mare Tranquillitatis tectonics may be unique to Earth and not a rule (Dvorak & Phillips. the Apollo periodically goes through a ìresurfacingî 11mission may have ended very differently. process. and it is possible that Venus minutes of the landing approach. are Orientale. After two weeks in orbit. It seems research is pulled downrange from its planned landing site indicating that mascons do not exist on Venus. Mendeleev.Mascons: Masterpieces Of Complexity (cont. MIT gravitational anomaly produced by a mascon. The orbit fluxed widely discovered. Moscoviense. Ed. Freundlich-Sharanov and Korolev. Some of the significant mascons on the farside. news. the Apollo 11 landing module was Mercury (Atkinson. The materials destroying the possibility of mascon increased gravitational pull of the mascons formation.

The impacts broke through the crust and fractured the iron rich mantle allowing it to uplift. whose lunar weight was exactly 50 pounds at the edge of the mascon would weigh 50 pounds and 4 ounces when standing in the mascon's center. 14. (2001) Recent gravity models as a result of the Lunar Prospector mission. pointing toward the mascon. New Series. (2006) Bizarre lunar orbits. Bizarre Lunar Orbits (Bell. 1971. Still.mit. 323.php Dvorak. D. A. 112-124. 9. 35-40. (2009a) Farside gravity field of the moon from four-way Doppler measurements of SELENE (Kaguya). This fact indicates that mantle uplifting may be sufficient to produce gravitational anomalies. P.L. 2673-2684. Ed. B. T. Robert. Hood. Vol. B. New Series Vol. 680. & Sjogren. L. Bell.edu/newsoffice/2010/venus-mapping-0322. 2006).info. Muller. these masterpieces of complexity will still add another dimension in making our Moon a unique and intriguing world. Most scientists agree that the mascons resulted from large impacts on the Moon's surface. With the examples cited above. the uplifted mantle in the impact basin laid dry for millions of years. he further states: If an astronaut in full spacesuit and life support gear. 22-26 March. Fourth Lunar Science Conference. J. Binder. W. March. 2265 -2275. August 16) Mascons: lunar mass concentrations. W. Trudy Bell reviews the gravitational effects of mascons in her NASA article. Science. J. Some questions about mascons may not be answered until we are able to move about the Moon and conduct the research first hand.E.nasa. (1968. they repeated over long periods allowing emplacement of one flow over another with later flows probably emanating from the highlands as demonstrated with Serenitatis. If you were standing at the edge of one of the mare. 1297-1300.D. 1477. The Moon. & Phillips. & Yaun. Arkani-Hamad. Once the lava flows started. B. further research needs to be done to comprehend mascons in all their dimensions regardless of location or geological formation.half a percent .M. No. the plumb bob would hang about a third of a degree off vertical. P. (2008) Gravity anomaly challenges MESSENGER mission. Carranza. Proceedings from IAU Symposium no.L. Vol. However. mascons are still somewhat obscured in mystery. 3842. References Arkani-Hamad. A. (1998. Issue 1.. Science..M. Issue 1-2. Sjogren. Konopliv. Asmar.html Christy. Moreover. (1972) Large disks as representations for the lunar mascons with implications regarding theories of formation. J. A.that it actually would be measurable to the astronauts on the lunar surface. L. R. Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 14 . Zarya. Vol. 902. (1970) Summary of arguments for a hot moon. Bell states that Konopliv believes the Moon to be a gravitationally lump place and sites Konopliv saying: The anomaly is so great .zarya. Most likely. one can clearly see that mascons can create interesting but somewhat benign effects or forces that can be dramatically perilous and must be accounted for as exploration continues. Kucinskas. & Williams. 3.Mascons: Masterpieces Of Complexity (cont..5382. Science. Lunar and Planetary Society Conference 10.) By Ron Brooks. The Moon. Many of these differences are most dramatic as compared to those found on the near and farsides.universetoday. (2010) MIT news. 281. Muller. . (1973a) Viscosity of the moon. mascons exist with little if any lava flow emplacement.L. Conclusion Even with growing knowledge. & Sjorgren. Science.. E. The similarities and differences among mascons can be striking. Konopliv. N.. Icars. W.com/14176/unknowns-in-mercurysgravity-field-provides-challenges-for-messenger-mission/ Baldwin. (1979) Gravity anomaly and structure associated with the Lamont region of the moon.W.Luna". September 4) Improved gravity field of the moon from Lunar Prospector. Lunar Science Institute.. No. (2010) "USSR . 47 held at the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne England. et al. Sjogren. (1973b) On the formation of the lunar mascons. Retrieved from: http:www.S.J. 6. Retrieved from: http:// www.G. The uplifted mantle and the lava flooding within the basin are probably collective in producing the mascon strength. Vol.info/Diaries/Luna10. Retrieved from: web. S. Vol. seemed to have been sufficient to alter the orbit and eventually bring down the satellite. R. J. A. Even when that is accomplished. Atkinson.. 150. W. Namiki.N..S. N.L.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/ 2006/06nov_loworbit/ Bettex M. 161. 2001. Retrieved from: http://science. Vol. 170.

No.600 078.841-16. 1977.) By Ron Brooks. Since.. Please consider if you can help. (1982) The evolution of impact basins: viscous relaxation of topographic relief.5A H-Alpha Solar Telescopes and 5/6" reflectors. A. Vol. (2009. Science Vol. Yamaji.com TG.. Smith. Solomon. H. L. (2009b) 904. E. (2009c) 902. Oshigami. (1964) The geology of the moon. Chennai (Madras) .B.Kobayashi. Neumann. Shoemaker..2. M. H.6. No. A New Appraisal from Space Missions and Laboratory Analyses. Kasahara. Vembuliamman Kovil Street. T. B5. Vol. N. 211. Scientific American Vol. (1977) Lunar gravity determinations and their implications. Zuber.. 22-26 March. N. The Moon. 909-912. 1971.D. 43-54. & Lemoine..843. The Moon. we are in need of various astronomical aids. 1A. Namiki. Sjogren. Nagar West. March 31. M. Urey.. 3rd Block. Thanking you with warmest regards. R. Y. 1676. & Oya.. Proceedings from IAU Symposium no..38-47.T. We have been conducting astronomical outreaches for past 8 years including few solar outreaches for several schools. W. (1956) Vistas in Astronomy.323. Y.K.. A. Jain's Ashraya Phase 1. An Appeal For Help I received this appeal from Southern India. Currently we are in look out for sponsors for Coronado PST Double Stack . orphanages & general public. G. In order to cover many schools. M.Mascons: Masterpieces Of Complexity (cont. A. (1973) The filling of the lunar mare basins.0. (1972) The geomorphic evolution of the lunar surface. Southern India Mobile (preferred): +91 94440 84047 Land line: +91 44 2364 0390 Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 15 . The scopes and aids will be helpful for us to organise more outreaches and also will help us in taking the happiness of observing to more schools. February 13)) Lunar radar sounder observations of subsurface layers under the nearside maria of the moon. Dear Editor. will surely able to get us the sponsorship. Ronca. 3975-3992. T. Ono.16. we are not able to cope up with requests for outreaches from various places. L. London.E.T. Vol. 87. Ronca. 219-226.. We hope to hear from you soon. 47 held at the University of NewcastleUpon-Tyne England. Dhinakar Rajaram rdhinakar@gmail. 239-248. Ed.C.P. I have given my address below and I request you to publish our request in forth coming issue of the Practical Astronomy! If a foreword by you on our request. Tamil Nadu. Journal of Geophysics Research. & Comer. 7. Pergamon Press..A. (1996) The lunar crust: global structure and signature of major basins. H. Journal of Geophysical Research. Kumamoto.L.. S. Namiki.B. glass solar filters and optical film solar filters and aids.C.. Yamaguchi.. D. we are using our limited resources and equipments maximum possible.. 101. Nakagawa. We are Madras. Beer. India based small group of Amateur Astronomers. We look forward for your help on getting sponsorships. The Moon. Ed. K.. S. Vol.

Focal Length 78mm 3) Third is the series of photos taken at the same time. Moon glowing in infrared at the time of total lunar eclipse.0 sec.0. India by Murali Krishna Kanagala He writes.Readers’ Images Images of the Moon taken during the total lunar eclipse on 15/06/2011 from Chennai. Focal Length 48mm 2) Exposure 1/2 sec.5.. Two (1 & 2) of these were taken in infrared (night shot mode in my camera. Details of photos: Camera SONY DSC-H50 1) Exposure 1. which is sensitive to IR) while Moon was almost invisible to naked eye. These two are not long exposure photos. Aperture 4. Aperture 4. Ursa Major and Minor by Asadollah Ghamarinezhad 10-22mm Canon lens 60D Canon camera 20s exposure time Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 16 .

a hazy. Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 17 . ? Sco (Girtab). It also has many bright stars. and the globular clusters Messier 4 and Messier 80. A few minutes after midnight. so it was a quite a challenge to take steady images. I went to Lake Caliraya to participate in a Messier Marathon with fellow Filipino amateur astronomers from the UP Astronomical Society and the Astronomical League of the Philippines. ? Sco (Sargas). One of my companions said that it was the Milky Way. this constellation contains many deep sky objects such as the open clusters Messier 6 (the Butterfly Cluster) and Messier 7 (the Ptolemy Cluster). fl1 Sco (Graffias). s Sco (Alniyat). t Sco (also known as Alniyat) and ? Sco (Lesath). I was Summer Milky Way and Caliraya Tower (image above) . However. The night was really cold and wind was blowing hard. including Antares (a Sco).Readers’ Images (cont) First Glimpse of the Milky Way! by Raven Yu One clear summer night last April 2.by Raven Yu so excited to see it that I immediately set up my Nikon 40D on a tripod so that I could finally get my first image of our very own galaxy. Due to its location on the Milky Way. ? Sco (Jabbah). p Sco (Iclil). NGC 6231 (by ? Sco). The constellation Scorpius is a region which points towards the center of the Milky Way. ? Sco (Shaula). glowing band of stars became visible from the east to the south. d Sco (Dschubba). capturing an image of this wonderful view of our galactic home was worth all the effort.

Sky View: Northern Hemisphere Mid-Nov 20:00 GMT (lat. for an observer at latitude 51deg North (northern hemisphere) or 30deg South (southern hemisphere).00 GMT in mid-Nov. Local time zone not GMT? The view should be much the same at 8pm in your local time. but patterns are the same. In Oct/Dec? Objects rise later/earlier. Closer to the equator? Objects are higher above your local southern/northern horizon. Maps generated with Stellarium Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 18 . 51N) Looking East These maps show the sky view in different directions at 20.

00 GMT in mid-Nov. but patterns are the same.Sky View: Northern Hemisphere Mid-Nov 20:00 GMT (lat. Local time zone not GMT? The view should be much the same at 8pm in your local time. for an observer at latitude 51deg North (northern hemisphere) or 30deg South (southern hemisphere). 51N) Looking South These maps show the sky view in different directions at 20. Maps generated with Stellarium Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 19 . Closer to the equator? Objects are higher above your local southern/northern horizon. In Oct/Dec? Objects rise later/earlier.

Closer to the equator? Objects are higher above your local southern/northern horizon.Sky View: Northern Hemisphere Mid-Nov 20:00 GMT (lat. In Oct/Dec? Objects rise later/earlier.00 GMT in mid-Nov. Maps generated with Stellarium Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 20 . but patterns are the same. Local time zone not GMT? The view should be much the same at 8pm in your local time. for an observer at latitude 51deg North (northern hemisphere) or 30deg South (southern hemisphere). 51N) Looking West These maps show the sky view in different directions at 20.

for an observer at latitude 51deg North (northern hemisphere) or 30deg South (southern hemisphere). Local time zone not GMT? The view should be much the same at 8pm in your local time. 51N) Looking North These maps show the sky view in different directions at 20. Closer to the equator? Objects are higher above your local southern/northern horizon.Sky View: Northern Hemisphere Mid-Nov 20:00 GMT (lat. but patterns are the same. Maps generated with Stellarium Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 21 .00 GMT in mid-Nov. In Oct/Dec? Objects rise later/earlier.

00 GMT in mid-Nov. for an observer at latitude 51deg North (northern hemisphere) or 30deg South (southern hemisphere). Maps generated with Stellarium Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 22 . In Oct/Dec? Objects rise later/earlier.Sky View: Southern Hemisphere Mid-Nov 20:00 GMT (lat. but patterns are the same. Closer to the equator? Objects are higher above your local southern/northern horizon. 30S) Looking North These maps show the sky view in different directions at 20. Local time zone not GMT? The view should be much the same at 8pm in your local time.

Maps generated with Stellarium Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 23 .00 GMT in mid-Nov. In Oct/Dec? Objects rise later/earlier. Closer to the equator? Objects are higher above your local southern/northern horizon.Sky View: Southern Hemisphere Mid-Nov 20:00 GMT (lat. Local time zone not GMT? The view should be much the same at 8pm in your local time. 30S) Looking East These maps show the sky view in different directions at 20. but patterns are the same. for an observer at latitude 51deg North (northern hemisphere) or 30deg South (southern hemisphere).

Maps generated with Stellarium Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 24 . Local time zone not GMT? The view should be much the same at 8pm in your local time. In Oct/Dec? Objects rise later/earlier. but patterns are the same. Closer to the equator? Objects are higher above your local southern/northern horizon. 30S) Looking South These maps show the sky view in different directions at 20.Sky View: Southern Hemisphere Mid-Nov 20:00 GMT (lat. for an observer at latitude 51deg North (northern hemisphere) or 30deg South (southern hemisphere).00 GMT in mid-Nov.

Closer to the equator? Objects are higher above your local southern/northern horizon. Local time zone not GMT? The view should be much the same at 8pm in your local time.00 GMT in mid-Nov. but patterns are the same. In Oct/Dec? Objects rise later/earlier. Maps generated with Stellarium Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 25 . 30S) Looking West These maps show the sky view in different directions at 20.Sky View: Southern Hemisphere Mid-Nov 20:00 GMT (lat. for an observer at latitude 51deg North (northern hemisphere) or 30deg South (southern hemisphere).

very favourable SATURN Not observable early in the quarter.PracticalAstronomy.. but apparent size quite small JUPITER Becoming larger and brighter in the evening and morning sky . the Taurids with double radiant (5 and 12 Nov) and Leonids (18 Nov). look for the potentially strong. Become A Member www. Enjoy BACK ISSUES and BONUSES. You’ll be sent the current password for the Members’ Area. You’ll also get priority notification when the next issue of Practical Astronomy is ready to download. In December. In November.Observers’ Delights MOON Full 12th Oct New 26th Oct Full 10th Nov New 25th Nov Oct-Dec 2011 Full 10th Dec New 24th Dec VENUS Becoming favourable in the evening sky from December MARS Observability improving in the early morning sky. Also the Orionids (21-23 Oct). but moonlit Draconids (8 Oct). Practical Astronomy Oct-Dec 2011 26 .. the Geminids (14 Dec) are often a rich shower. but emerging in the dawn sky METEOR SHOWERS In October.com/subscribe Simply visit our website and subscribe.