Using the Phase Manager  


Clicking the Phase Icon opens the Phases Dialog, and Lunar Map ProTM adds the current lunar phase to the map display.


The Phases Dialog is designed to display one Lunation at a time, (a complete monthly cycle of lunar phases).  In the following example, take a look at the Phase Selector.  It is showing you at a glance that the terminator has passed First Quarter, and is advancing towards Full Moon.  This lets you know instantly, that the moon is waxing.




The green arrows on the Phases Dialog move the lunar cycle forward or backward, by one lunation cycle per mouse click.  This makes it easy to find the correct time and date for: New Moon - First Quarter - Full Moon - Last Quarter, for any month that you choose.  The Phase Manager also provides pop-up hints that make navigation easier.




Of course, you can also set the phase anywhere in between the pictured phases.  Just use your mouse to drag the slider on the Phases Dialog.  In the next example, the slider has been moved to about halfway between New Moon and First Quarter.  When you release the slider, the phase display is changed, along with the state of libration shown on the map, and the information in both the Time and Ephemeris Dialogs.



According to the Time Dialog, the slider position (shown above), corresponds to a waxing crescent on 5/5/03 at 3:03 PM EDT.




If the Time and Phases Dialogs are open at the same time, you can watch the time and date change by moving the slider, or watch the phase change by setting a new time.


Moving the slider to a position directly below any phase icon provides the correct time and date for the phase pictured.  In the next example, First Quarter occurs on Feb 15, 2005 at 6:16 PM EST.




Adjusting the Phases Dialog Box is excellent for making quick, coarse phase changes.  You can achieve accuracy of about three hours, depending upon your skills with your mouse.


In some instances, you will need to make more precise adjustments, which means working with the Time Dialog.  For date changes, place your cursor on the arrow next to the Date Window, and click the arrow, to bring up a small calendar.  Click on a new date, and then click Apply.




Clicking the arrows on either side of the calendar advances the calendar forwards or backwards in monthly increments.




Clicking on the Year, allows you to use the up and down arrows to change the calendar in yearly increments.




To change the time, use your mouse to highlight either hours or minutes in the Time Window, and use the up and down arrows to make the time change.



NOTE:  The software permits you to select any time and date between January 1, 1970 and December 31, 2100.


If you want to set a phase based upon Colongitude, you can enter changes to the Time Dialog and observe the changes in Colongitude on the Ephemeris Dialog.  You can then tweak the time and date information, until the Ephemeris displays the Colongitude setting that you desire.  For more information about Colongitude, please refer to the Help Menu Glossary.




To return all dialog boxes to the current computer clock settings, click the Current Button, on the Time Dialog, or close the Time Dialog, and reopen it.



Phase Mask Options


The Phases Dialog also provides you with the capability of choosing the opacity of the Phase Mask.  When a texture map is used, you can simply slide the Dark Side Transparency Selector in 5% increments, between 0 and 100%, until the phase appearance suits your personal taste.  In the following example, the phase mask is set to Opaque.




In the example below, the phase mask transparency is set to 60%.  If the slider was moved all the way to Transparent, the phase would no longer be visible.




When a vector map is used, the Dark Slide Transparency Selector operates a bit differently.  Setting the selector to Opaque will still result in a black phase mask, as shown below.




Moving the selector anywhere between the mark representing Opaque, and the mark representing Transparent, will result in a lined (see through) phase mask.




If the slider is moved all the way to Transparent, only the terminator line will remain visible.