18 October 2023

Lunar X and V on October 21st


The Moon is a fantastic target for anyone with a telescope or binoculars. There is so much richness to see and on any night the Moon presents an ever-changing landscape, each night different from the previous one. I particularly like first and last quarter moons, as you get a side view of the terminator and can observe the long shadows in the craters. But those shadows and the rapidly changing lighting effects on and near the terminator create striking patterns for those with a good telescope. 

Lunar X and V
The Lunar X and V are two striking patterns that appear monthly on the surface of the first quarter Moon. Visible through a telescope at moderate magnification, these two patterns are visible for a few hours, one after the next, but of course you need to have the good luck of the Moon being above the horizon at that exact time each month. So it is a somewhat rare occurrence and a fun target for amateur astronomers, or just about anyone who wants to put in the time to find it. Enlarge the image to the right for a close-up look. 

This month the view is favourable where I live, here in Munich, Germany. On Saturday October 21st the X and V features will be visible just at sunset and for an hour or two afterwards. I will host a star party in the Englischer Garten in Munich for the public and I hope that many will join to see this unique spectacle.  

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