The waxing and waning moon are a feast for the eye of the insomniac.
In the picture I took a couple of nights ago, on the border of the lit crescent, you can clearly see two big craters. They disturb the clean rim of sunlight/shadow transition. The rim of the cratered moon surface facing the sun is dark, the illuminated crater bed resembling a freckle on a white ivory nose, a little flaw on an impeccable sickle-shaped lit curve.
The bottom crater is called Petavius and is 188 km wide. It is named after the French
The other crater is 127 kilometers wide and sports the name Langrenus crater. It is named after
Mr van Langren is quite the interesting Renaissance man as it turns out. No 'scolarly' education (although his father Arnold was in the same line of work), but skilled in navigation, cartography, cosmology, military, civil and naval engineering,...
I'll delve deeper into his longitude solving, time permitting. He devised a way of determining longitude through the moon at sea through use of the illumination and eclipse (i.e., darkening) of lunar mountains, frequent phenomena like the moons of Jupiter, that could be observed from all points of the earth.
The Brits claim it was a Yorkshire clockmaker who solved the longitude problem, albeit a century later (but I'm just saying this off the top of my head). I suppose it was much more accurate and reliable in absence of celestial objects but I'll definitely have to read up on that before I post anything stupid. I have a little
As soon as I've finished the book on the