Seas of Serenity, Tranquility, Fertility, and Nectar - Landolt Observatory by Briar Richard

Seas of Serenity, Tranquility, Fertility, and Nectar - Landolt Observatory by 

Our photos are like our children in that we have trouble picking favorites. Truth be known, I have only one child, but I can imagine the difficulty of not loving all of your kids equally and infinitely.

With that in mind, this is a darker twin of a previous post.

This version shows more detail in the lunar seas, which are the foci of the photo. The brighter version still hold its own, as it reveals more mountain and crater shadowing along the terminator.

Just can’t make up my mind on this one!

Science info on this capture…

Formed between 3.8 and 3.2 billion years ago, after a violent period of asteroid and cometary impacts known as the Late Heavy Bombardment, the four lunar “seas” (or mare) pictured are now defunct lava basins of basaltic rock.

Mantle magma is thought to have risen through the shattered crust to fill these giant resevoirs. Lava channels known as rilles wind their way throughout each of the basins, and are better viewed when the picture is enlarged.

Early in the evolution of the Earth-Moon system, the Moon gravitationally locked into synchronous rotation with our planet, which is why the same half of the lunar sphere faces Earth at all times. The Moon’s far side is nearly devoid of mare basins, so it’s rather fortuitous that we see the more topographically varied portion of its surface.

Along the top of the night/day line, or terminator, sharp shadows are cast out tens of kilometers from the western edge of the Caucasus Mountains

The pictures was captured through LSU’s Landolt Telescope, using a Nikon D90 and 2" T-adaptor. The exposure was 1/60 second at 400 ISO.

The observable Universe sprang into existence 13.7 billion years ago, and has evolved to observe itself. In my opinion, there’s no greater event to consider. I enjoy astronomy, photography, and time with my wife and little boy. While capturing and editing photos, I jam to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Air Supply, LMFAO, The Foo Fighters, REM, Barry Manilow, Dr. Dre, Snoop, Duran Duran, Weezer, The Flaming Lips, U2, Boyz to Men, Pearl Jam, Peter Gabriel, Queen, Color Me Badd, and The Beach Boys.

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  • vampvamp
    vampvampover 4 years ago


  • Thanks, vamp!

    – Briar Richard

  • bron stadheim
    bron stadheimover 4 years ago

    love it

  • Glad you liked it, Bron. Thanks!

    – Briar Richard

  • Hugh Fathers
    Hugh Fathersover 4 years ago

  • Thanks for the larger than life comment, Hugh. It looks so regal! Very cool!

    – Briar Richard

  • BK Photography
    BK Photographyover 4 years ago

    bloody brilliant ………… well done :)

  • Thanks, Big! I’m having a blast taking and editing these pics!

    – Briar Richard

  • kemal91
    kemal91over 4 years ago


  • Thanks, Kemal!

    – Briar Richard

  • John Holding
    John Holdingover 4 years ago

    Man that is good.

  • Thanks, John.

    – Briar Richard

  • Barbara Burkhardt
    Barbara Burkhardtover 4 years ago

    BRILLIANT!!! Encore … Encore ….

  • Thanks so much, Barbara! For once, I can actually fulfill an encore. (Probably the first time I’ve been asked for one too : ) ) Here it is.

    – Briar Richard

  • geoff curtis
    geoff curtisover 4 years ago

    Amazing shot.

  • Thanks, Geoff! You have a extrordinary gift of capturing human emotion. Some of your portraits and candids are just…WOW!

    …and BTW, you may very well have the best avatar on RB!

    – Briar Richard

  • RoseMarie747
    RoseMarie747over 4 years ago

    and I thought my moon shot was ok…LOL…

  • If you’re referring to the one with the bald eagle superimposed, I can assure you that it’s far beyond “OK”. I’d categorize it as absolutely superb or breathtaking!

    – Briar Richard

  • JohnDSmith
    JohnDSmithover 4 years ago

    That`s just fantastic,..

  • Thanks, John!

    – Briar Richard

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