Hitchhiker's Guide to Rukl Chart 35

Lamont (JRF <freeman _at_ netcom.com>)
Whether this subtle circular pattern, visible only at low sun angles, is a seriously drowned crater or a chance pattern of wrinkle ridges, I am not sure.
Statio Tranquillitatis (JRF <freeman _at_ netcom.com>)
"Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed." The Apollo 11 Lunar Module approached touchdown with Rima Hypatia and crater Moltke -- both on Rukl chart 46 -- to its left, and craters Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins ahead and to the right. The actual landing site is as unremarkable a piece of topography as mission planners could find -- any feature large enough to be visible might have been a hazard during final descent. The departure route lay just south of the prominent arc of small to medium craters Sabine, Ritter, Ritter C and B, Manners, and Arago. Perhaps someone who looks at this site through your telescope will see it again one day, at closer range. Welcome back.
Tips on Finding Tranquility Base (...Akkana)
I always have trouble navigating in the area of Statio Tranquilitatis. I came up with a hint for myself the next time I try it: after finding Ritter and Sabine, find the large crater Maskelyne (spilling over to the next Rukl page, chart 36) to the east, and Moltke, between Ritter/Sabine and Maskelyne then southward. Moltke (Rukl chart 46) is easy to recognize because of its prominent white halo, even when near the terminator. Moltke makes it easier to recognize where Armstrong and Collins should be, and Rimae Hypatia, near Moltke, offers scale to find the site. Don't expect Rimae Hypatia to be as easy to see as they look in Rukl; I find them somewhat subtle, at least when near the terminator.
"Seagull" near Al-Bakri (...Akkana) [Seagull near Al-Bakri]
Note the small seagull shape, as per David North's description below, near the hook along the right side of the promentory. My sketch doesn't do justice to the actual seagull, but I had fun sketching the lovely Promentorium Archerusia.
Rimae Maclear (David North <d _at_ timocharis.com>)
A nifty feature is the remnants of two ghost craters just south of Al-Bakri: precisely like a child's rendering of a seagull. Directly east, the northernmost end of Rimae Maclear is easily seen, though the rest of the rille is difficult unto questionable. This extends through the Sosigenes complex to the Ariadeaus rilles, which are spectacular. The flat bottom is widely separated from the well resolved edges; an easy target, but beautiful.

Part of the problem with seeing the southern section of Rimae Maclear was the more distinct Rimae Sosigenes kept drawing my eye away: they are long long long and in my inadvertently averted vision they kept growing and growing... though they also appeared fainter to the south. And, of course, jabbing right at them was the amazingly black and obvious Ariadaeus Rille, a magnificent canal easily seen in just about any scope.

Rimae Ritter (David North <d _at_ timocharis.com>)
A bit further south, Rimae Ritter were very elusive. I only caught glimpses of some short stretches, which surprised me due to the ease with which the rest of the rilles around the rim of Tranquilitatis were spotted. The twin craters Sabine and Ritter showed a nice amount of interior detail of tiny craters and fractures, having just recently come into the full light.
Arago Alpha and Beta (...Akkana)
South of Plinius, I noticed a perfect little dome which turned out to be Arago alpha, with its companion dome beta (larger but less symmetrical) nearby.

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This page last modified: Oct 03, 2011
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