Best of AOP - Solar System

Moon Mosaic

Our only natural satellite is a quarter of an Earth-diameter across, and thirty Earth-diameters away. It is made up of the same sort of material as the Earth, but it lacks a hefty iron core, so the Moon probably formed when a large planetoid struck the Earth and blew off a large amount of surface material four billion years ago.

In the above image (a mosaic of 9 frames), the Moon is six days old and about 40% illuminated. You can tell that sunlight is coming from the right, leaving the left side of the Moon in darkness (and that's all there is to the phases of the Moon; you are not seeing the Earth's shadow!).

Last Updated: 26-Jun-2014

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About This Image

Click on image for larger version.

Equipment

20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/16.8 (2in AP 2x Barlow)

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

Unsharp mask was applied to the final image.

Minimum credit line: Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF