You’ve heard about the Man In the Moon and the Lady in the Moon… If you’re into lunar observing then you know about the Cow Jumping Over the Moon and the Rabbit in the Moon, too. But have you ever heard about the Basketball Player In The Moon? Well, step inside and find out more…
First discovered by Ed Murray and published in ALPO’s monthly “The Lunar Observer” and in NASA’s Dr Tony Phillips November 13, 2008 issue of Spaceweather.com, the “basketball player” is a compilation of lunar features that resemble… well… a basketball player! How did it’s discovery come about? Just ask Ed.
“Like many amateur astronomers, I guess I’ve always daydreamed just a little bit about possibly discovering a faint fuzzy that turns out to be a bright comet, but very quickly, I have to come down to Earth because living in suburban Philadelphia, with our weather and horrid light pollution, the chance of that happening are slim to none. So, I’ve had to be content with the memories of being able to see the solar eclipse from Hawaii, where I happened to see the Milky Way in all it’s glory from the 9,000 ft level visitors center, the annular eclipse of 1994 in New York… seeing the shadow bands … not on a white sheet but freshly cut green grass, numerous Aurorae and everything else…. until one night….”
When can you see the Basketball Player In The Moon? When it rises tonight would be a great time to start. This is when the lunar east limb will appear to make the “player” be upright and easiest to spot. Later in the evening, as the Moon progresses across the sky, the view will appear to turn sideways. Still there… Just oriented a little differently! If you’re clouded out tonight, try again tomorrow – or whenever the Moon nears Full.
In the meantime? Why not wish Ed a big round of congratulations for an observing job – and discovery – well done!