Image of the Month - December 2015
This year saw the first full moon on Christmas Day since the year 1977, and the last we will see again for 19 years - this rare occurrence happens only twice every 59 years, and this is the same for any particular day in the year. On your birthday you will only see a full moon twice every 59 years! We have therefore chosen our Image of the Month for December to once again be the Moon. On Christmas day the Liverpool Telescope observed only 5 images for the NSO - and each of them were the Moon. We have taken these five images and superimposed them onto a map of the full moon, taken using the Moonsaic activity here on the NSO website. We can see that our users have observed several areas on the Moon which include the sites of every Apollo moon landing, the Seas of Serenity and Tranquillity (the dark patches to the right of the image, these 'Seas' were created when ancient volcanoes erupted and the lava cooled on the surface), and the massive Copernicus crater (the bright white region on the centre-left). The large 'sea' split across the two top images is known as the 'Sea of Rain' which is also apt for the wettest month ever recorded!