Get Your Universe On!
Because we're all space cadets, at heart.
|Our Previous Night Out|
|Date:||Sunday August 10 2014|
|Conditions:||Clear, light breeze, 15 degrees|
|Theme:||The Lunar North Pole|
Humans may have discovered Peaks of Eternal Light!
OK, you've probably seen this round object a few times. Get ready for something different, though: the Moon is a spectacular sight in a telescope, unlike anything you can see with just your eyes. This evening we looked at the Northern polar region of the moon (mouse here to see it), despite the fact that this region is tipped away from us right now. Since 1837, it has been speculated that a mountain near one of the moon's poles could be a "Peak of Eternal Light" i.e. the sun never sets on it. This astonishing idea has since gained some credibility, as a team from Johns Hopkins University has indicated that parts of the Peary Crater's rim may be candidates for this unique designation.
Here's a close-up of the moon's north pole:
In this dramatic close-up, we get a feel for the rough, bumpy terrain of the northern moon. The craters Plato and Goldschmidt serve as our "pointer" to locate Peary, as it is just to the left of where they point. Obviously, our view of Peary is edge-on, so it appears as a thin, bright line. Disregarding the occasional lunar eclipse, perhaps some of those elements really are blessed with eternal sunshine!