Hipparchus and Albategnius are a photogenic pair of ancient impact craters lying in the lunar central highlands just to the east of Mare Nubium. Hipparchus is much degraded and modified, due to multiple impacts that have occurred since its formation in the same impact that formed Mare Imbrium some three to four billion years ago. Hipparchus is 160 kilometres (100 miles) wide. Albategnius is a slightly smaller (136 kilometres) but magnificent walled-plain, its walls having huge peaks rising in places 3000-4250 metres (10-14000 feet) above the plain. Its central peak is 1200 metres (4000 feet) high. The smaller craters lying between the two are Halley (centre) and Hind (top), with Klein jutting into Albategniusʼ south-western (lower right) rim. The best time to observe and image the pair is at First and Last Quarter. This nice image was taken by Marnix Praet from Belgium with a ten-inch (250mm) Newtonian fitted with a 3x Televue barlow and a DMK21 camera.
In recent nights, observers in the UK and Western Europe have seen the International Space Station (ISS) as a bright naked-eye ‘star’ moving slowly across the sky from west to east. On Thursday, 9 June, London is favoured for some close approaches of the ISS to the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn. If you see the Station, spare a thought for Tim Peake and the Expedition 47 crew on board!
If you have a clear sky to the southeast an hour before sunrise on the morning of Friday, 6 November you will be greeted by a pairing of the old, waning crescent Moon with largest planet Jupiter. Then, on Saturday, 7 November, a slimmer crescent Moon joins planets Mars and Venus for an even closer triple conjunction. Have your binoculars and cameras ready!