Introduction to the Lunar 100

The Lunar 100 is a list guiding you through observing some of the many features the Moon. It was created by Charles A. Wood in a Sky and Telescope article and was a response to Charles Messier’s list, which was an attempt to catalogue ‘comet like’ objects in the sky.

Although amateur astronomers use Messier’s list to get to know some of the best deep sky objects in the northern hemisphere it wasn’t designed as a spotting guide. As a result, there are some quirks, such as so the so called missing Messiers and the fact that objects aren’t in order of type (Messier thought they were all comets) or difficulty. It can be a bit baffling to new astronomers. However, the Lunar 100 is designed to be user friendly. It is in difficulty order and built with a steady learning curve. The first few features in the list don’t require any observing equipment at all, but as you progress you will need binoculars and then a small telescope (one with at least 4 inches aperture is all that’s required to complete the list).

We’ll be working our way through the objects over the coming months and years to see if we can get all 100 features. Do join us along the way if you can. If you’ve actually seen the Moon then congratulations – that’s number 1, so just 99 more to go.

Full Moon

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