How to identify moon craters and mountains on the lunar surface

The moon’s brightness might frustrate some stargazers, but a closer look will reveal some amazing features, says Abigail Beall


1 February 2023

GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 20: A full moon rises behind Glastonbury Tor as people gather to celebrate the summer solstice on June 20, 2016 in Somerset, England. Tonight's strawberry moon, a name given to the full moon in June by Native Americans because it marks the beginning of strawberry picking season, last occurred on the solstice on June 22, 1967 and it will not happen again on the summer solstice for another 46 years until June 21, 2062. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

THE moon annoys some stargazers. This is especially true when it is full and its light outshines some stars usually visible to the naked eye or prevents meteor showers from giving their best show. But I would like to invite you to embrace the part of the lunar cycle when the moon is at its brightest, which, this month, falls on 5 February. Join me in casting an eye towards our beautiful companion.

The best time to look at the lunar surface isn’t right at the full moon, because the sunlight reflecting off its face can be too bright to …

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