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Join in latest Moonwatch at the Brewery Arts Centre
When would you think is the best time to look at the Moon through a telescope or binoculars? If you said ‘when it's full,’ and most people do, you'd be wrong. Although the Full Moon looks beautiful in the sky, especially when you see it hanging there above the castle like a big golden balloon, it's awful to look at through a telescope. All you see is a blindingly-bright white disc, with some fuzzy dark patches on it.
No, the best time to look at the Moon through a telescope or binoculars is when it's at first quarter - when it appears half full. Why? Because then the landscape features on the terminator, the line between night and day, stands out starkly because of their shadows. Look at the Moon through a telescope then and you can see breathtaking detail on its surface. Craters, mountains and valleys all jump out at you, and it's easy to imagine you're in a spaceship looking down on them from orbit, rather than looking up at them from Earth.
If you'd like to see the Moon like that, it's easy. Just come along to the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal tomorrow night (Friday) for our latest Moonwatch! From 7pm we'll have telescopes in the garden, and - weather permitting - will have them trained on the Moon, ready to show it to anyone who wants to see.
Eddington Astronomical Society of Kendal
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