t was something to see – the slowly (very slowly) rising sun flaring across the eastern wall of Crater Plato, its rim-shadows thrown halfway across its 110km enclosure. To the south, Mt. Pico gleams in the slow-motion dawn, standing in its gloomy plains. And further west, the Teneriffe Range stands as white as teeth in the early morning shadows.
Yeah, that was what I looked at tonight (since it was a double scope usage, the sun and then the moon). Locked on the moon a hell of a lot easier than I did the sun earlier, running the terminator line and looking for something to identify. Caught sight of a crater that looked like a cup of coffee with its dark floor and highlighted flanks. Stared at the map, stared through they eyepiece, back and forth until the existence of Cassini – a distinctive flooded crater – to the southeast locked it down for me. I looked at Plato and its environs for about forty-five minutes until it was time to come in. But before I struck the scope, I did wander over for a look at my favorite lunar place, the Sea of Crisis.
Beautiful night with some high soft haze that didn’t get in the way (too much) of excellent lunar viewing.