On my bookshelf sits a small little blue book titled "Peeps at the Heavens"
This book was printed in 1911, by the Reverend James Baikie F.R.A.S
One of the highlights in "Peeps at the Heavens" has to be on page 41, where the Rev Baikie talks of the Moon Maiden ........ and I quote:
"But perhaps the most interesting of all the faces is that called the "Moon Maiden," which is shown in plate VIII. It can only be seen with the telescope, and only when the Sun happens to shine upon it in exactly the right way.
I have only seen it twice myself in twenty- five years.; but perhaps some fine night you may get a chance to see this face of the Moon Maiden, with her long hair floating behind her, looking out from the cape of the Bay of Rainbows across the Sea of Showers."
|Plate VII "The Moon Maiden"|
Well tonight I managed to catch a glimpse of that most beautiful of maidens....
Tonight's Lunar viewing was timed just right, the clouds stayed away, and the gap in our tree line framed the 87% illuminated waxing Moon perfectly.
I quickly opened the side windows of the observatory, trained the Tal's finder onto the lunar orb, and focused the 15mm Kellner.
I was greeted with very steady seeing, and many lunar features stood out beautifully.
Oddly I noticed that Proclus's ejecta rays had a hint of rainbow colour in them, what would cause this I don't know..!
I then headed South.....
After a couple minutes of viewing Clavius and it's surrounding companions I moved again Northwards...towards the Sinus Iridum...and then I saw her... the Moon Maiden....!
She was unmistakeable, as the Rev Blaikie said "looking out from the cape of the Bay of Rainbows across the Sea of Showers"
I managed to take some pictures and a small video for posterity.
The images hint at the presence of the Moon Maiden, though the naked eye views where outstanding....
I enjoyed another five minutes of lunar gazing.... and then the dreaded clouds returned!!
|The Moon Maiden.... looking out to sea....|
As the Rev Blaikie mentions .... "I have only seen it twice myself in twenty- five years"
I wonder when I will see her again.... ?