Explore the Moon

Explore the Moon—an introductory lunar observing program

EtMlogo.jpgThis observing program (awarded since 2016) bridges the gap between the introductory Explore the Universe observing program and the comprehensive Isabel Williamson Lunar Observing Program. It is ideal for beginning observers who are just learning about telescopes and binoculars, by providing a hands-on observing experience on an easy object—the Moon. The telescope program is based on the 100 lunar features listed and charted in the RASC Observer's Handbook, originally selected by Roy Bishop. There is also a binocular program consisting of a reduced set of 40 features. We welcome feedback from observers!


Why Observe the Moon?

This may seem like a funny question. Many amateur astronomers, however, shun the Moon. It is true that moonlight interferes with the enjoyment of observing and photographing the “faint fuzzies,” which are deep-sky objects. A better option is to remain calm and observe the Moon on those nights when it dominates the sky. Here’s a list of benefits of lunar observing, particularly for beginning observers:

  • It’s easy to find!
  • You can observe from home, even in the city—no need to travel to a dark-sky site
  • The Moon is bright, offering plenty of detail, even in small telescopes or binoculars
  • Observing the Moon is ideal for learning how to operate your telescope and binoculars
  • Finding the principal features is not hard, so you can learn observing skills
  • It’s our nearest celestial neighbour!



RASC Explore the Moon Certificate


Find out details about RASC's Explore the Moon certificate here.