THE FACE ON THE MOON
Nobody seems to know about a strange shape that appears inside the crater Nonius (the crater next to Walter) the day of the first quarter moon. This shape, formed by the shadows on the crater hills, looks similar to a human face. Some say it looks similar to a tiger face because two horns appear on the "head". We call it "the devil's face" even though nothing devilish appears in its expression. During the days after the first quarter moon, the face becomes wider and fatter, and it looks as if the owner of this head is talking on the telephone. Not all the people to whom I have shown this strange shape can see in it what I and many of my friends see. In the image above you see 3 different photos of the region taken by Italian astrophotographers. The one in the middle was taken a couple of days after the first quarter, while the other two on the day of the first quarter. Shown below is a larger view of the moon at first quarter in which you can easily locate crater Walter and Nonius (the face). After this curious "discovery", some amateurs who have a site entirely dedicated to the moon prepared an interesting page about the face. If you are interested go to: http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Launchpad/7111/face.htm The last photo of the area was taken on the May 22, 1999 (first quarter night) with persistent clouds covering the moon's surface. (Trischiefspiegler telescope 12.5" f=20, 18mm eyepiece, Epson 600PC digital camera set on auto-focus and self-photo mode.) If you believe in UFOs or in strange phenomenon, you may be interested to see a photo of crater Walter during the first quarter moon. At this time in the darkness of the shadows in which the crater is immersed appears a face that looks like a portrait of Father Pius (Padre Pio). He was a friar who was famous for his miracles and was recently nominated for sainthood by the Vatican. Strangely, the image appears so nearby to the so-called "devil" that it greatly tormented Padre Pio throughout his life. If you don't see the face, adjust the brightness of your monitor until it appears and enlarge the image by about 200%.