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Test your eyes using the moon?

Jan has been enjoying the Sunday Times magazine excerpts from ‘How to read a tree’ by Tristan Gooley, and this article caught her eye, excuse the pun. The book looks like the perfect Christmas prezzie for geeks of all ages. It seemed appropriate as we had two super moons in August though, unfortunately, the weather didn’t help viewing. Super moons are when a full moon orbit brings it closest to earth and makes it look larger. The moon illusion is illustrated above, where the moon looks larger to us when it’s on the horizon and we can compare it with trees or buildings, and smaller when it’s high in the sky.

An American astronomer has listed 12 lunar features in order of difficulty seeing them with the naked eye. Number 1 is easy and Number 12 is impossible to see with the naked eye - so Number 11 is the highest goal achievable. The daytime sky is too bright so it is best to try this at dusk.

  1. The bright surroundings of Copernicus

  2. Mare Nectaris

  3. Mare Humorum

  4. The bright surroundings of Kepler

  5. The region of Gassendi

  6. The region of Plinius

  7. Mare Vaporum

  8. Lubiniezky region

  9. Sinus Medii

  10. Faint shading near Sacrobosco

  11. The dark spot at the foot of Mons Huygens

  12. Montes Riphaeus

On 29th September we are expecting an extra-bright and extra-large Full Moon / Harvest Moon — the last of the four supermoons that we'll get to see this year. This moon is called the Harvest Moon because, pre-electricity, farmers used to rely on moonlight to harvest their crops into the night.

If you would prefer a more thorough and scientific assessment of your eyesight and eye health then you can book an eye examination online here. Alternatively, you can call to book an appointment on 0117 9735929 or email


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