At a distance of almost a quarter of a million miles, the Moon is our nearest neighbor in space. A small telescope or even a pair of binoculars is sufficient to begin your personal exploration of this interesting world. People have been exploring the moon by telescope for 400 years, so there is a lot of detail that you have to learn in order to understand lunar geography. One excellent tool is the [Virtual Moon Atlas], a fine piece of freeware to help you understand lunar surface features, their origin, and how the monthly cycle of lunar phases impacts your ability to image specific features on the surface.
Lunar surface images are large compared to those of individual planets, so I can only display a few at a time. I will periodically change the images shown on this page so that over time you can get a feeling for the diversity of features on the surface of our nearest neighbor.
Added May 2018
All three images shown here were captured on 25 May 2018 using the OMC200 camera and a ZWO ASI120MC color camera.
Plato is a very distinctive crater situated at the northern margin of Mare Imbrium. It is shallow compared to a number of the smaller neighboring craters as a result of cracking of the lunar crust by the impactor that formed the crater. Magma then flowed up and filled most of the crater, leaving a smooth surface of solidified lava. Later impacts left their mark in the form of small craterlets on Plato’s floor. These are difficult to resolve, but a satisfying number are visible if you look carefully.
There is an image of the huge southern hemisphere crater complex (Clavius) posted later, but this one is better in terms of resolving fine detail.
Tycho is found in the rugged southern highlands to the northwest of Clavius. You will note a high density of small craterlets well to the east of Tycho. These suggest the surface is comparatively old. The lack of similar craterlets on the flood basalts inside Tycho suggest that the impact that formed this large crater (and flooded the crater floor with lava) was comparatively recent.
Added 21 September 2018
Added 10 October 2019
I posted an earlier view of the Clavius Crater complex. That one emphasized fine detail. This one offers a somewhat more realistic view and a somewhat broader look at the neighborhood.
“Sinus Iridium” means the “Bay of Rainbows”, a romantic name, but a pretty bleak piece of Lunar landscape!