How to Locate Tranquility Base on the Moon
In tribute to Neil Armstrong who sadly passed away on 25th August 2012, I've put together a quick
guide to locating the landing site of Apollo 11 on the Moon's surface.
In truth you can't actually see the lander using a telescope because it's just too small.
However if you have just your eyes, a pair of binoculars or a telescope, then you can at least locate the
part of the Moon where Apollo 11 landed back on July 20th 1969.
I've used my own images below to show you how to get close to the location of the site. The first Moon
image has been chosen to represent the Moon's phase on the 26th August 2012. In this image north is up and
west off to the left. In the later telescopic steps, north is down and west off to the right.
Step 1 - this is more-or-less what the Moon will look like on August 26th...
Step 2 - Locate the feature marked below. This is the Mare Crisium.
Step 3 - Next locate the larger dark feature shown - this is the Mare Tranquillitatis.
Step 4 - Locate the pointed feature at the south of the Mare Tranquillitatis.
Step 5 - Move across the surface in the opposite direction to the Mare Crisium (step 1) and you'll come to
a feature which looks the top has been scalloped out with a small crater in it. The crater is called Moltke and is 7km across.
The Apollo 11 landing site lies about 40km NW, or up and left, of Moltke.
Step 6 - To get closer, you'll need to use a telescope. The following images are show
with south to the top as you'd see them through an astronomical telescope.
The pointed feature at the south of Mare Tranquillitatis (step 4) is now on the left of the image
and Moltke is now on the right, shown arrowed.
Step 7 - Next locate the 31km crater marked close to the right of the image. This is called Sabine.
Step 8 - Now it starts to get challenging because next you'll need to locate the three
craters located roughly midway and to the north of a line joining Sabine and Moltke as shown.
The three craters are called (from left to right in the image) Sabine D ("Collins"), Sabine C and Sabine B ("Aldrin").
Step 9 - If you can identify Aldrin and Sabine C as shown...
Step 10 - ...extend a line through them for about 75% of their separation distance again.
Step 11 - The point at the end of the line is the location of Tranquility Base.
Step 11 - Finally, as we're in the right part of the Moon, if you can locate the crater marked in the image below,
this is the 5km crater known as Armstrong - named after Commander Neil Armstrong.
Don't forget that Neil's family have made this simple request...
"For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request.
Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk
outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you,
think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."