The Moon


Before Apollo: The Scientists Who Discovered the Moon

Eleven scientists defined lunar science in the 360 years after the invention of the telescope and before humans arrived on the Moon.

Ewen Whitaker

People, Places, and Events

Remembering Ewen A. Whitaker, 1922–2016

An amateur who devoted his live to chronicling the Moon, and became one of the world's most renowned lunar specialists, has died at age 94.

Lunar 100


The Lunar 100

As the moon wanes in the gibbous phase in the nights to come, see if you can find and observe some of 100 of Charles Wood's classic lunar hit list, including craters, basins, mountains, rilles, and domes.

The crater Tycho seen by Lunar Orbiter 5.


Tycho: The Metropolitan Crater of the Moon

Tycho is the most conspicuous crater visible near full Moon, shining brilliantly and radiating great long rays. But the rays from Tycho that partially encircle the full Moon are not distributed equally in all directions.

The craters Messier and Messier A

Celestial Objects to Observe

Messier on the Moon

Oblique impact resolves the mystery of one of the most bizarre crater pairs on the Moon: Messier and Messier A. Previous explanations for this crater pair ranged from imaginative to fantastical. All were wrong.

Plato proves the point

Celestial Objects to Observe

The Mysteries of Plato

The crater Plato is one of the superstars for observers of the Moon. It's big, conspicuous with its dark floor ringed by a bright rim, and long a subject of speculation, and controversy.

Mare Nectaris


Rings and Things

Mare Nectaris is the smallest of the circular maria on the Moon; lavas extend only 350 kilometers from shore to shore. But the Nectaris basin is beautifully defined by the spectacular Altai Scarp, which forms the southwestern rim of the basin.

The Straight Wall at last quarter

Celestial Objects to Observe

Ancient Thebit and Huygens's Sword

The absolute best example of a lunar fault is the Straight Wall. This well-known lunar feature is a long thin line that never fails to impress; even through a small telescope it's a fascinating sight.

Full Moon

Celestial Objects to Observe

Observing the Full Moon

The full Moon is very bright, but there are still many fascinating features to observe during this or any phase when you look far from the terminator.

A bullseye basin, volcanic domes and lava-flooded crater highlight Friday morning's crescent Moon


A Rare Glimpse of Mare Orientale

On five consecutive mornings beginning January 29th, early morning risers have an opportunity to glimpse the Moon’s most spectacular "hidden" landform.

Mare Australis


Australe: A Mare on the Edge

This mare is a challenging sight; view it July 16th to 19th and August 12th to 15th.