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Observing the Moon

First quarter moon imaged with FoneMate and DeLite 7mm eyepiece. J. Betancourt.

Most amateur astronomers will ignore the full moon. The best telescopic observations can be had before and after the moon is full.  For instance, when the moon is half-illuminated, at first quarter, as it waxes toward full. Along the night and day terminator line bisecting the moon are the boldly cast shadows of mountains, craters, rilles, and basins. This is where your telescopic lunar observations should begin.

Bino Vue with 2x amplifier.

Some of my best views of these lunar features has been through a TV-85 equipped with a Tele Vue Bino Vue. Using two eyes to float above the lunar surface is not only more comfortable, but brings you closer to the “space walk” experience of a lunar orbiting astronaut. Other’s agree with me: according to Sky & Telescope‘s Bino Vue review, “the 3-D effect is particularly dramatic when you are viewing the Moon. Mountains really look high, and craters really look deep. You feel you are looking at a real landscape on a world that appears not as a flat disk but as a globe curving away from you at the limb. With wide-angle eyepieces, I experienced the proverbial spaceship views of the Moon that we always imagine but never quite achieve with monocular viewing.”

Nagler 3-6 Planetary Zoom.
If you want to zero-in on a feature at higher magnification, swap out the Bino Vue for our Nagler Planetary zoom. With a wide-range of magnification it can be fine-tuned to frame objects or adjust magnification to suit the seeing conditions.
Finally, to make a record of you observations the Tele Vue FoneMate smartphone adapter is a must. It solidly mates your smartphone to many of our Tele Vue eyepieces to allow still image and video capture using the apps on your phone. Download a time-laps imaging app to capture the progress of an eclipse or bright occultation.
Fonemate smartphone adapter cradles your smartphone and connects to many of Tele Vue’s eyepieces to allow imaging with your camera/video app.
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