Sunday, July 29, 2007


By the light of the moon

By the silvery moon

We'll be cuddlin' soon

By the light of the moon:

Tonight is the night of the full moon. Most commonly referred to as the 'Full Buck Moon', it is also known as the 'Full Thunder Moon' and the 'Full Hay Moon'. It arrived tonight at 12:48 am GMT, 7:48 pm Winnipeg time. So once more Molly hops in her pea green boat and sails the lunar seas. Tonight's journey was to the Mare Imbrium (the Sea of Showers or the Sea of Rains). This feature is labelled "2" on the lunar map to the upper left. Imbrium is the largest of the mare of the Moon, second in size only to the Oceanus Procellarum as a lunar feature. It measures about 1200 kms from east to west and about 1100 kms from north to south. The present theory is that this lava plain was carved out about 3.85 billion years ago by an asteroid about 100 kms in diameter.

Imbrium is bounded on the north by (from west to east) the Jura, Teneriffe and Alp mountain ranges (see Mare Frigoris previously on this blog) and on the east by the Caucasus(north east) and Appenine(south east) mountains. The southern border is formed by the Carpathian mountains. To the west Imbrium merges into the Oceanus Procellarum mentioned above.

Imbrium has a number of very interesting features. The indentation on the northwest corner labelled A on the diagram to the left is the Sinus Iridum (the Bay of Rainbows).(Molly Note:If you depend upon Wikipedia for information without checking you will notice that 'Iridum' is misspelled 'Iridium'-like the element in some of their information) The general area labelled I on the southeast corner is the Sinus Lunicus. Three large craters are visible in half decent binoculars. C is the crater Plato, G is Archimedes and N is Copernicus. The point labelled J in the diagram was the landing point for Apollo 15.
The impact that created Imbrium was severe enough that it gave its name to to a whole era of lunar geology, the Imbrium Era. The impact was probably responsible for an extended period of lunar volcanism that filled the various basins of the Moon (Procellarum, mares, sinuses, laci) with the dark appearing basalts that give the Moon its more shadowed features. The lunar lava was unlike terrestrial lavas, having far less viscosity, more like thin motor oil. This meant that the Moon lacks the conspicuous volcanic cones common on Earth. The lava simply spread out in sheets. The lack of large mare regions on the far side of the Moon can be explained by the lack of an Imbrium sized impact on that face.

To check for the times of the full moons of this year Molly highly recommends the Time and Date site. This site has a wealth of information on matters chronological including solar and lunar calenders and the opportunity to design your own calender for any number of countries of the world complete with all holidays religious and secular. Not just a way of telling time, but much more.

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