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THE MOON: “MAGNIFICENT DESOLATION”. Some Preliminaries: About the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomy Club Bathrooms Emergency Procedures During the Presentation. Lunar Sketch by Galileo 1609. The Use of the Crude Spyglass Galileo Galilei Thomas Harriot. The Moon in Human Culture. Births

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Some Preliminaries:

About the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomy Club


Emergency Procedures During the Presentation

The Use of the Crude Spyglass

Galileo Galilei

Thomas Harriot

The moon in human culture
The Moon in Human Culture

  • Births

  • Deaths

  • Planting

  • Fishing

  • Mystery

  • Poems

  • Love

The moon s origin
The Moon’s Origin

  • Co-formation or Sister Theory

  • The Capture Theory

  • Fission or Daughter Theory

  • The Impact Theory

The Answer:

Theia Did It!

Moon facts
Moon Facts

  • Distance = 363,000-403,000 km

  • Orbital Speed ~ 1.02 km per second

  • Orbital period = 27.3 Days

  • Rotational Period = 27.3 Days

  • Diameter = 3,476 km

Moon facts1
Moon Facts

  • 24 humans, all Americans, have been sent to the Moon.

  • 12 humans have walked on the Moon.

  • 31 USA (manned and unmanned)

  • 28 USSR probes (unmanned)

  • 4 unmanned probes from other countries

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Lunar Module pilot and the second human to walk on the Moon, described the lunar landscape as "a magnificent desolation".

More facts
More Facts!

  • It took astronauts three days to get to the Moon!

  • A person who weighs 180 lbs on Earth, weighs 30 lbs on the Moon.

  • Day and Night on the Moon each lasts two weeks

  • The Moon’s albedo is that of coal!

First Quarter Moon

Crescent Moon

Gibbous Moon

Sun light

Full Moon

New Moon

Gibbous Moon

Crescent Moon

Third Quarter Moon

Eclipses it takes three to tango
Eclipses: It takes Three to Tango!

  • The Lunar Eclipse

  • The Solar Eclipse

Photos: Earth and Sun: NASA, Moon: Schedler

The moon s influence on earth
The Moon’s influence on Earth

  • Distorts the shape of the Earth.

  • Precession of the poles of the Earth.

  • Slowly lengthens the duration of a day by one second every 62,000 years.

  • Distorts the precession movement of the Earth.

Lunar nomenclature
Lunar Nomenclature

  • Craters : Named after philosophers, scientists (Halley, Herschel, Kepler)

  • Mountain Ranges: Named after terrestrial mountain ranges (Alps, Caucasus, Pyrennes)

  • Mares or Seas: Named after states of mind (Serenity, Tranquility, Crisis)

A moon with a view1
A Moon with a View


Mare Crisium







The view thru a telescope



Mare Crisium

The View Thru A Telescope

Mare crisium
Mare Crisium

Sea of Crises

Photo: NASA Lunar Orbiter

Longomontanus crater
Longomontanus Crater

Christen Sørensen Longomontanus (Longberg) (October 4, 1562 – October 8, 1647), was a Danish astronomer. Engaged by Tycho Brahe in 1589 as his assistant in his great astronomical observatory of Uraniborg, he rendered invaluable service for eight years.

Photo: NASA Lunar Orbiter


Plato (428/427 BC – 348/347 BC), was an ancient Greek philosopher, the second of the great trio of ancient Greeks –succeeding Socrates and preceding Aristotle– who between them laid the philosophical foundations of Western culture.

Tycho crater
Tycho Crater

Tycho Brahe (12/14/1546 – 10/24/1601) was a Danish nobleman, and astronomer. He is credited with the most accurate astronomical observations of his time, and the data were used by his assistant Kepler to derive the laws of planetary motion. He did what others before him were unable or unwilling to do — to catalogue the planets and stars with enough accuracy so as to determine whether the Ptolemaic or Copernican system best described the heavens.

Photo: Steve Bryson

Copernicus crater
Copernicus Crater

Nicolaus Copernicus (February 19, 1473 – May 24, 1543) was a European astronomer who formulated the first explicitly heliocentric model of the solar system. His book, On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres, is often conceived as the starting point of modern astronomy, as well as a central and defining epiphany in all the history of science.

Photo: NASA Lunar Orbiter

Newton crater
Newton Crater

Sir Isaac Newton (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727) was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist, regarded by many as the greatest figure in the history of science. His treatise Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, published in 1687, described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, laying the groundwork for classical mechanics.

Photo: NASA Lunar Orbiter

Lambert crater
Lambert Crater

Johann Heinrich Lambert, (8/26/1728 – 9/25/1777) was a German mathematician, physicist and astronomer. The first practical hygrometer and photometer were invented by Lambert. In 1760, he published a book on light reflection in Latin, in which the word albedo was introduced. In 1761, he hypothesized that the stars near the sun were part of a system (solar system) which traveled together through the Milky Way, and that there were many such groupings (planetary systems) throughout the galaxy.

Photo: Wes Higgins

Armstrong crater
Armstrong Crater

Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930) is a former American astronaut, test pilot, university professor, and naval aviator. He is the first person to have set foot on an extraterrestrial world (The Moon). His first spaceflight was Gemini 8 in 1966, for which he was the command pilot. On this mission, he performed the first manned docking of two spacecraft together with pilot David Scott. Armstrong's second and last spaceflight was as mission commander of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission on July 20, 1969. On this famous "giant leap for mankind," Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface ("The Eagle has landed") and spent 2.5 hours exploring while Michael Collins orbited above.

Photo: NASA Lunar Orbiter

Meteor crater arizona
Meteor Crater, Arizona

The Meteor Crater in the state of Arizona was the first crater to be identified as an impact crater. Between 20,000 to 50,000 years ago, a small asteroid about 80 feet in diameter impacted the Earth and formed the crater.

The crater is the best preserved crater on Earth and measures 1.2 km in diameter (3,937 feet!). For many years, scientists had denied that there were any impact craters on Earth. The origin of this crater has been a source of controversy for many years.

It is 170 m (570 ft deep)


How big is 1 kilometer
How big is 1 kilometer?

Have you ever walked around

the Lehigh Valley Mall?

Lehigh Valley Mall

A crater close to home

150 km

100 km


50 km

A Crater Close to Home?


- 150 km (93 mi)


- 109 km (68 mi)


- 102 km (63 mi)


- 93 km (58 mi)


- 78 km (48 mi)


- 30 km (19 mi)


- 3 km (1.9 mi)

Additional features
Additional Features

Valentine Dome


The Straight Wall

Photo: xxx

The Hadley Rille – Apollo 15 area

Fra Mauro – Apollo 12 and 14 area

Photos: NASA Lunar Orbiter

Rimae de gasparis
Rimae de Gasparis

Photo: NASA Lunar Orbiter

Mare serenitatis sea of serenity
Mare SerenitatisSea of Serenity

Photo: Simon J. Porter

A few lunar resources
A Few Lunar Resources

  • The Moon Wiki

  • Virtual Atlas of the Moon

  • Lunar Photo of the Day (LPOD)

  • Wikipedia Moon Page

  • Lunar and Planetary Institute

  • Apollo Lunar Images

  • NASA Moon Page

  • NASA Manned Space Flight