The Moon dominates the night sky. Most of the time anyway. It has been in our thoughts, and captured our curiosity and imagination since the dawn of our civilization. As far as amateur astronomers are concern, it provides us with plenty of observing opportunities, like eclipses (both Solar and Lunar), occultations (of stars, planets, etc.), any many more. Our night companion is also beautiful to behold just as it is, and that will be the topic of the next few paragraphs.
As the Earth goes round the Sun, our satellite revolves around our planet. It takes roughly 27 days for our satellite to do so. As a result, the Moon goes through different phases – New-Moon, First Quarter, Full-Moon and Third Quarter. It just so happens (actually, the Earth-Moon tidal interaction happens) that it takes the Moon the same amount of time, ~27 days, to spin around its axis. That’s the reason we see only one side of our natural satellite. Well, a little bit more if we have to be honest.
How to observe the Moon
Unlike the Sun, we can look directly at the Moon with no eye protection required, even though they both have the same angular diameter. And, as the brightest object on the night sky (most of the time anyway), it’s a really good starting point for any beginner amateur astronomer and astrophotographer. Here we’ll concentrate mainly on the observing part. Read more about how to observe the Moon here.
How to draw the Moon
At times when neither CCD cameras nor photo plates existed, people had to draw the Moon instead of taking a photograph. Nowadays this is very rare, but you could still do it if you have the enthusiasm and especially the patience for it. Read more about how to draw the Moon here.
How to photograph the Moon
The best way to capture the beauty of our natural satellite is to photograph it. Various imaging techniques reveal different amount of detail of the lunar surface, and each of which could produce astonishing results. Read more about how to photograph the Moon here.