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Moonwatch: A Complete Starter Pack for the Lunar Observer.
Firefly has just published a package, Moonwatch - A Complete Starter Pack for the Lunar Observer that shows they're already into the Christmas season. Three great aids for viewing Earth's Moon are within this sharp looking, light cardboard enclosure. These are; a book, a Moon map and a sheet of photographs. As written on the package's front, together these make a comprehensive, complete starter pack for lunar observing.
The book inside is Peter Grego's Moon Observer Guide. You can read our review of this book here. To sum up, this book talks about types of viewing equipment, how to record observations and what are the neat things too look for. The book is quite comprehensive though for more detail, it's the map you'll need.
The Moon map by John Murray gives an index of over 500 prominent features on the Moon's visible side. Of course in addition to rilles, craters and mares, you will see bright red marks for our probes and landers. This poster would look sharp mounted on any wall. North is at the top so all the names read easily for people in the northern hemisphere. Maybe there is another version for viewers in the southern hemisphere otherwise they will need to turn the map around and learn to read upside down! The map comes folded at 13 by 23 cm and unfolds to about 100 by 70 cm.
The last item, and itself a very nice touch, is a broad sheet with photographs of the Moon. There are 26 images on each side of the sheet which effectively makes for a photograph for each Earth night. An image is about 11 centimetres in diameter. One side has photographs of the view from Earth's northern hemisphere and the other from Earth's southern hemisphere though from a quick perusal there's not much difference between the two.
With this package it's quite easy and fun to look at the Moon in the night sky. Compare the Moon to one of the photographs on the sheet then go to the book to identify the features then go to the Moon map to pick up on small features or special locations. It's simple to do and very informative. With Moonwatch - A Complete Starter Pack for the Lunar Observer, Firefly publishers have put together a great Christmas gift great or a good any-day addition to a club or group that wants to get into lunar watching.
To read more reviews, or order the book online, visit Amazon.com.
Review by Mark Mortimer
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