The Moon Guide
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Courtesy
U. S. N. O.
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The phase of the Moon right now

Phase
 
spacer  The six-day-old crescent Moon

< The three-day-old crescent

Crescent Moon
The six-day-old Moon
When Thomas Harriot made the very first drawing ever of the Moon, on 26 July 1609, it was at a similar phase to this view. You can even identify some of the features that he drew using his very simple telescope.

Often, it is not the largest lunar features that are the easiest to see. To the west of the Mare Crisium is a small but prominent ray crater, Proclus (3), two of whose rays define a diamond shape called the Palus Somnii (4).

The three adjoining craters of Theophilus (5), Cyrillus (6) and Catharina (7) are also easy to spot, and are probably shown on Harriot's first drawing. Near them is a ridge called the Altai Scarp (8). Other craters are:

1 Hercules
2
Atlas
9 Piccolomini
10 Janssen
11 Fracastorius

For a map showing several hundred labelled features, go to our interactive Moon map.

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Crescent Moon

Observing the Moon

Moon lighting

'Seas' and mountains

How much can you see?

Using binoculars and telescopes

Drawing the Moon

Getting to know the Moon

Three-day crescent Moon

Six-day crescent Moon

First-quarter Moon

Gibbous Moon

Interactive Moon map

 
spacerMaintained by SPA Webmaster: Last 15 February 2009
 
International Year of AstronomySociety for Popular AstronomySociety for Popular Astronomy