[Cauchy Hyperbolas]

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Moon

A guide to telescopic observations of the moon
by Akkana Peck, with help from many contributors
[Hesiodus Ray]
I 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 II
VIII 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 III
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38
39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49
50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
VII 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 IV
VI 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 V

What's Up on the Moon Tonight?

The diagram at right represents the moon as it appears on the date shown, with light grey showing the areas which are in sunlight, black showing the areas not lit. Usually, you'll see the most detail at the terminator, the dividing line between light and dark.

(Since you have Javascript disabled, you won't see the date or the light and dark areas, but you can still use the chart.)

The numbers correspond to chart numbers in Antonin Rukl's Atlas of the Moon.

The Roman numerals around the edges represent the libration zones, areas of the moon's far side which are sometimes visible edge-on to observers on earth.

On the libration charts, purple indicates a favorable libration; blue indicates a very favorable libration. In most cases the terminator has to be nearby in order to see much detail in a libration zone.

(There's an older frames version of this page).

Other Useful Moon Pages on This Site

Download a PDA version of the Hitchhiker's Guide:
Plucker format, no images, 127k, or Plucker format with images, 927k , or in iSilo2 format, no images, 116k (Plucker info, iSilo info).
Or pluck your own using this index page and maxdepth=2.

A list of Lunar References. By all means send contributions if you have a favorite moon book!

My Java Moon Applet.

Useful links for lunar observing

My experimental Lunar Feature Predictor.

For an explanation of which atlas pages are visible at which times, and a table of all Rukl pages by latitude and longitude, see the selenographic longitude page.

Copyright info:
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Moon was created by Akkana Peck,
with the help of contributions from David North, Jay Reynolds Freeman, members of the Shallow Sky list, and many other people worldwide. Thanks to Robin Casady for the idea for title (with a little help from Douglas Adams).

All contributed materials in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Moon remain copyrighted by the various contributors. All rights reserved. No materials can redistributed without written permission.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Moon is a cooperative compilation. Please contribute your own observations!

Features described in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Moon are referenced to the pages on which they appear in Antonin Rukl's excellent and comprehensive Atlas of the Moon -- now finally back in print!

The Javascript functions used in the Hitchhiker's Guide are Copyright 1997, 1998, 2003, 2006 by Akkana Peck, licensed under the GPL, and are primarily based on equations from Jean Meeus' Astronomical Algorithms.

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