Today in Astronomy History
courtesy of

April 16, 1178 BCE
Solar eclipse marking the return of Odysseus after the Trojan War

April 16, 1705
Queen Anne knights Isaac Newton at Trinity College.


Astronomers become aware of lunar events even if they are not directly observing the Moon.  During a two week period the Moon will go from a very dim object to a very bright one.

When a bright Full Moon is in the sky, it can adversely affect deep sky viewing of nebulae and galaxies.  The closer the moon approaches the New Moon stage the dimmer it becomes and the less time it spends above the horizon each night.  New Moons are typically the best time to observe deep sky targets like nebulae and galaxies.

The part of the Moon between the sunlit portion and the shadow portion is known as the terminator.  The terminator is a fantastic area to study the Moon because the features like craters, mountains, valleys, etc. are partially in sunlight and shadow and these features show great amounts of detail.  The wonderful part of the terminator is that it changes each night allowing for a new area to study.  Each night is a new view!

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