ALPO/BAA/UNIVERSITY OF ABERYSTWYTH PROJECT FOR THE

VERIFICATION/ELIMINATION OF PAST TRANSIENT LUNAR PHENOMENA REPORTS

 

SUMMARY

There exist nearly three thousand observational Earth-based reports, made by amateur and professional astronomers, that suggest that the Moon is slightly geologically active. This is at odds with scientific evidence in the rocks brought back from the Moon and from the lunar atmosphere sampling instruments left behind by the Apollo astronauts. We do however now know that a few of the Transient Lunar Phenomena (TLP) seen may have been real effects for example some of the brief flashes of light seen might have been impact flashes. However brightening, obscurations of underlying detail and colours seen are more enigmatic. Nevertheless some theories have been suggested which might explain some of these e.g. electrostatic dust levitation and outgassing. Unfortunately a lot of the past TLP reports are simple misinterpretations of the lunar surface by observers unsure what the normal appearance looks like at a given lunar phase or libration. Sometimes terrestrial atmospheric effects have blurred and distorted views of the surface of the Moon – again giving the false impression that a TLP was occurring. In order to establish which of these two thousand past reports may have been genuine, and which could have been misinterpretations, we are encouraging amateur astronomers to re observe the Moon at the same illumination, and if possible libration, to match those for these past TLP observations so that we can establish what the normal appearance should have been like. High resolution CCD images (monochrome or colour) are exceedingly helpful because we can use these to simulate poor seeing, atmospheric scattering and spectral dispersion. However quality sketches and even visual descriptions of what observers see are also very helpful. Observations can be forwarded to me at the email address below.

 

As time goes by we will gradually remove the less reliable TLP reports from our list and re-adjust the observational weights of some of the others. It is planned to publish reports on those past TLPs that we have managed to eliminate and acknowledge observers who have contributed to the de-selection process. Your contribution is therefore very valuable to this scientific process. In order to help observers plan when to look at the Moon, below are details of possible observing times for various locations in the world where there may be active amateur astronomers – if you are not on this list and wish to participate then please let me know.

 

In addition, if you are interested in contributing scientifically useful observations to this project, during “live” TLP events, a twitter service is available on:  http://twitter.com/lunarnaut that will hopefully alert you shortly after I learn about a TLP being observed. Note that this is a restricted service intended for use by skilled amateur astronomers and you will need a Twitter account to be able to request receiving these Tweets.

 

REPEAT ILLUMINATION ONLY OR ILLUMINATION/LIBRATION

EVENTS FOR THE CURRENT MONTH

 

(For last and next month predictions click on one of these…Past Month & Next Month )

 

The following are a set of dates and UT times under which you will have the chance to observe various lunar craters under identical illumination (to within +/-0.5 deg), or identical illumination & libration (to within +/- 1 deg), conditions to what they appeared as during past TLP (Transient Lunar Phenomena) events. The objective of observing such features at these dates and times is to gain a detailed set of observations of the “normal” appearance of these features from which we may judge critically past TLP reports. This will help greatly to eliminate many of these TLPs from the 1978 NASA catalog for which simple tricks of lighting were to blame. It will then allow us to identify a core set of reliable observations whose origin may be due to transient, natural surface processes on the Moon, for example meteorite impact flashes, outgassing of radiogenic gases such as Radon or Argon, electrostatic levitated dust particle clouds etc.

  

Suggested date/times for observing impact flashes on te Moon are included. For more information on observing impact flashes on the Moon see….http://alpo-astronomy.org/lunar/lunimpacts.html

 

Sometimes weights are incorporated into the descriptions of the TLPs. Two systems are used, the one from the 1978 Cameron catalog of TLP (and the 2006 extension catalog), and a revised set of weights from the ALPO/BAA catalog of TLP. The latter is constantly being revised as observations are received. In some descriptions the Cameron 1978 catalog is referred to as the “NASA Catalog”.

 

Cameron TLP Scale:

------------------

0 = non-TLP or inexperienced observer

1 = some merit

2 = poor information or non-independent observation

3 = good observer

4 = very experienced observer

5 = confirmed or recorded TLP

 

ALPO/BAA scale:

---------------

0 = a non TLP i.e. proven that this is a normal appearance

1 = probably a non-TLP - but cannot be ruled out – often an observation will be assigned a provisional weight of 1 until proven otherwise

2 = good from an in-experienced observer - so might be real

3 = observation from an experienced observer - so probably real

4 = confirmed report by more than 1 observer (at least one experienced)

5 = definitive unambiguous documented evidence

 

 

Dr Tony Cook

 

 

The information provided on this and other pages by me, Tony Cook (a t c @ a b e r . a c  . u k), is under my own personal responsibility and not that of Aberystwyth University. Similarly, any opinions expressed are my own and are in no way to be taken as those of A.U.

  

AFRICA & MIDDLE-EAST

ALGERIA – ALGIERS

EGYPT - CAIRO

IRAN - TEHRAN

ISRAEL - JERUSALEM

KENYA - NAIROBI

LIBYA - TRIPOLI

MOROCCO - CASABLANCA

NAMIBIA - WINDHOEK

NIGERIA - LAGOS

SAUDI ARABIA - RIYADH

SOUTH AFRICA – CAPE TOWN

TANZANIA – DAE ES SALAAM

 

 

ASIA

CHINA:

-         BEIJING

-         HONG KONG

INDIA - MUMBAI

INDONESIA - JAKARTA

JAPAN - TOKYO

MALAYSIA – SINGAPORE

NEPAL - KATHMANDU

PAKISTAN - KARACHI

PHILIPPINES - MANILA

SRI LANKA - COLOMBO

SOUTH KOREA - SEOUL

TAIWAN - TAIPEI

 

 

EUROPE

ARMENIA – Yerevan

AUSTRIA - VIENNA

BELGIUM - BRUSSELS

CZECH REPUBLIC - PRAGUE

CYPRUS - NICOSIA

DENMARK - COPENHAGEN

ESTONIA - TALLINN

FINLAND - HELSINKI

FRANCE:

          - CHALLENS

          - METZ

- PARIS

- PIC-DU-MIDI

GERMANY – BERLIN

GREECE – ATHENS

GREENLAND - NUUK

HUNGARY - BUDAPEST

ICELAND - REYKJAVIK

IRELAND - DUBLIN

ITALY:

          - MILAN

- ROME

LATVIA - RIGA

LITHUANIA - VILNIUS

MALTA - VALLETTA

NETHERLANDS - AMSTERDAM

NORWAY - OSLO

POLAND - WARSAW

PORTUGAL - LISBON

ROMANIA - BUCHAREST

RUSSIA:

-         MOSCOW

-         NOVOKUZNETSK

-         ST PETERBURG

-         VELIKY NOVGOROD

-         VLADIVOSTOCK

SLOVAKIA - BRATISLAVA

SPAIN:

          - ISLA DE LA PALMA

- MADRID

- SEVILLE

- TOLEDO

SWEDEN - STOCKHOLM

SWITZERLAND - ZURICH

TURKEY - ISTANBUL

UKRAINE - KIEV

UNITED KINGDOM:

ABERYSTWTH

ARMAGH

BIRMINGHAM

BORDON

CARDIFF

CHADDERTON

EDINBURGH

HARROGATE

LEICESTER

LONDON

MAIDENHEAD

MUNDESLEY

NARBOROUGH

NEWTOWN

OAKLEY

PLYMOUTH

READING

SCARBOROUGH

SHEFFIELD

ST_DENNIS

SWINDON

 

NORTH AMERICA

CANADA:

          BC – VANCOUVER

ON – TORONTO

QC - QUEBEC

NS - HALIFAX

 

JAMAICA - KINGSTON

MEXICO – MEXICO CITY

 

UNITED STATES:

AL – MONTGOMERY

AK - ANCHORAGE

AR – LITTLE ROCK

AS – PAGO PAGO

AZ – KITT PEAK

CA – LOS ANGELES

CO - DENVER

CT – WEST HAVEN

DC - WASHINGTON

DE - DOVER

FL:

 – LAKE_WORTH

- GAINESVILLE

FM - PALIKIR

GA - ATLANTA

GU - HAGATNA

HI - HONOLULU

IA – DES MOINES

ID - BOISE

IL - SPRINGFIELD

IN:

          - INDIANAPOLIS

          - MT_VERNON

KS - TOPEKA

KY – HILL VIEW

LA – BATON ROUGE

MA - BOSTON

MD - ANNAPOLIS

ME - AUGUSTA

MH - MAJURO

MI - LANSING

MN – SAINT PAUL

MO – JEFFERSON CITY

MS - JACKSON

MT - HELENA

NC - RALEIGH

ND - BISMARCK

NE - LINCOLN

NH - CONCORD

NJ - SEWELL

NM – LAS CRUCES

NP - SAIPAN

NV – WINNEMUCCA

NY – COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

OH - COLUMBUS

OK – OKLAHOMA CITY

OR - SALEM

PA - HARRISBURG

PR – AGUADILLA

PW - MELEKEOK

RI - PROVIDENCE

SC - COLUMBIA

SD - PIERRE

TN - NASHVILLE

TX – AUSTIN

UT – SALT LAKE CITY

VA - RICHMOND

VI – CHARLOTTE AMALIE

VT - MONTPELIER

WA - OLYMPIA

WI – MADISON

WV – CHARLESTON

WY - CHEYENNE

 

 

SOUTH AMERICA

ARGENTINA

– BUENOS AIRES

-         CIPOLLETTI

-         ORO VERDE

-         RAMOS_MEJIA

BOLIVIA

- Cochabamba_City

- LA PAZ

BRAZIL:

-         BELO HORIZONTE

-         SAO PAULO

-         FLORIANOPOLIS

CHILE – CERRO TOLOLO

COLOMBIA – BOGOTA

EQUADOR - QUITO

FALKLAND ISLANDS – PORT STANLEY

FRENCH GUYANA - CAYENNE

GUYANA – GEORGE TOWN

PARAGUAY - ASUNCION

PERU - LIMA

SURINAME – PARAMARIBO

URAGUAY - MONTEVIDEO

 

 

PACIFIC REGION

AUSTRALIA:

NSW - SYDNEY

NT - DARWIN

QLD – BRISBANE

SA – ADELAIDE

TAS - HOBART

VIC – MELBOURNE

WA - PERTH

 

 

NEW ZEALAND:

          - DARFIELD

- LEVIN

– PALMERSTON NORTH

- STANLEY BAY

 

 

Note that if you intend to observe and would like your own geographical location added to the list, please email me.