The Strange Things You Can See On The Moon Without A Telescope

The moon; our mysterious celestial cousin. While you probably won't be going there soon, even for a lot of money, it costs nothing to gaze up at it in wonder. You don't even need a fancy, heavy telescope to even see it.

According to Sky at Night Magazine, there are some fantastic features of the moon that can be seen even without a telescope. One is called the Lunar X, an optical effect where the light and shadows of three moon craters form a letter X that can be seen with a pair of binoculars. The phenomenon, also called the Werner X, can only be observed under certain conditions, a paper from the Willingboro Astronomical Society writes, and appears gradually over the course of two or so hours. You can also use binoculars to see one of the largest craters called Tycho, reports Popular Mechanics. Tycho is the crater with white rays extending out from it near the bottom of the moon. The crater was formed when a meteor slammed into the moon 25 million years ago. 

Even without any viewing instruments, the moon still has surprises, like earthshine, where the moon glows faintly just before sunrise. That's caused by sunlight reflecting onto the moon.


So you know there are interesting things to see on the moon without an expensive telescope. How do you do it?

Astronomy suggests getting a pair of binoculars that have a magnification of at least seven, meaning objects should appear seven times closer, though 10 times or 15 times magnification will be better. While it's not necessary, Astronomy writes that budding moon observers can splurge on binoculars with image stabilizers. These types of instruments have small electronics inside that compensate for small movements. Something that can be important if the pair has higher magnification since these tend to be heavier. But the best pair of binoculars, says, is whatever pair that you can bring with you.

Next time you look at the moon and wonder if people will ever live there, who owns it, or if it's made of cheese, know that there are plenty of strange things on it to see, even without a telescope.