August 17, 2007

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Seeking Illumination

image by Elias Chasiotis, Athens, Greece. There is a Moon in this image - is finding it, like reading LPOD, too hard?

Today, a colleague who has read my book and has been observing the Moon for about four months said that she couldn’t understand the explanations in LPOD. They are too technical, with layers of interpretation that require more knowledge than she has. I wonder if her experience is common? Although there are typically about 2000 people who visit LPOD each day, only a handful ever submit comments or questions. Is LPOD largely just a pretty picture of the day with indecipherable text? Perhaps I am just writing it for myself. Certainly I enjoy looking at the submitted images and seeing things I may have never noticed before. And I usually spend a pleasant two hours each evening researching the area in old books and comparing images from spacecraft and other observers as I slowly discover the story waiting to be told in the picture. See, I’ve got to the end of another LPOD without even thinking of the reader! What do readers need, to make LPOD as valuable for them to read, as it is for me to write?

Chuck Wood

Technical Details:
Elias writes: I send you two photos of todays’ very old moon (20 hours before new) rising from the Parthenon of Athens. It was very dim because it had an elongation from the sun of only 9.5° (it approaches apogee) and the illumination was just 0.64%. (0.20% thicker than the thinnest ever observed with an optical instrument). I didn’t even see it through the camera and i just followed my predictions. 12 August 2007, 03:00 UT. Bresser Skylux 70mm F10 refractor, Canon EOS 400D, ISO 400, exposure 0.6 sec. Transparency good.

Related Links:
Happy Independence Day

Yesterday's LPOD: Riddlesome Rilles

Tomorrow's LPOD: Texturous Terrain


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