The moon popped up into view last night in the northeastern skies and for the first time in almost a year owning a spotting scope, I hauled the device out into the backyard to check out earth’s 60X satellite and — wow! I was blown away by the topographical detail that could be seen.

Though having tried and failed so many times in the past to photograph the moon (ending up most of the time with either a blurred image or a blinding white hole in the sky), I hustled inside and came back with the point-n-shoot, which I pushed up against the scope’s eyepiece, trying to center the moon in the frame and not shake — two things way easier said than done.

Surprise, surprise: I came away with a shot the likes of which I’ve never ever ever gotten before (click it for the bigger picture):