Apollo

"Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed." "Roger, Tranquillity, we copy you on the ground. You've gotta bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot." This exchange between Neil Armstrong and Charlie Duke sent shivers down my spine as an 11-year-old schoolboy glued to the BBC coverage (anchored by James Burke and Patrick Moore). My 30-mm refractor was soon trained on the Moon, but (not surprisingly) did not show the region well! Eagle's landing site was in the Sea of Tranquillity, not far from the two 30-kilometer craters Sabine and Ritter. If you draw a line from the center of Sabine to the small 7-kilometer crater Moltke, at two-thirds of the way to Moltke you pass 20 kilometers south of the Apollo 11 landing site. A day or so before half Moon, i.e., the first quarter phase, the region is thrown into sharp relief and the Hypatia rille, near Moltke is well shown too. If you have a big telescope and a good map, the tiny craters Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins can just be glimpsed at high powers. With a webcam, under good seeing, it is dead easy to record these tiny craters with a 20-cm and larger instrument. The Apollo 11 Landing Site is at 0.65° N, 23.51° E and the landing date was July 20, 1969. See Figure 10.4.

Figure 10.4. The Apollo 11 Landing site imaged by Mike Brown of York, England, with his 37-cm Newtonian at f/12. The craters Ritter and Sabine are nearby. 2x Barlow plus Starlight Xpress HX516 CCD.
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Telescopes Mastery

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