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When is the best time?

  1. Oct 17, 2005 #1
    When is the best time to view the moon?When is it the biggest?Also is there any really good time to view the milky way? Or something really amazing and special?(rare) thanks for any help.!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2005 #2
    The best time to look at the moon is when it is high above the horizon. It does not appear much larger or smaller at any particular time (it appears larger subjectively when it is near the horizon but this is not real). The best time to look at t he MW is when the moon is absent and the night sky is darkest. There are amazing and special things everywhere through the dark (moonless) sky. You might want to get a set of Burnhams guides or something similar.
  4. Oct 17, 2005 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    For the moon, its best when it is in partial phases, the shadows help with depth perception.
  5. Oct 18, 2005 #4


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    Science Advisor

    Like watters said, it is much better to view partial phases to see more crater and mountain detail. The full moon is rather blank and bland; no contrasting features.
    But, there is a time when it will actually look bigger but this has nothing to do with being low to the horizon. Since the moon's orbit is elliptical it is sometimes closer to the earth (perigee) and sometimes farther (apogee).
    See: http://www.fourmilab.ch/earthview/moon_ap_per.html for some good photo comparisons.
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