When a person looks through my telescope at the moon, I often hear comments something like, wow that’s amazing or you have to come and see this! When you look at the moon with the naked eye about all you can see are some gray and white markings on the surface of the moon but little else. That experience completely changes when you look at the moon through a quality telescope.
If the moon is near first quarter a host of intriguing shapes covers the moon’s surface. For example a large quantity and variety of craters become visible in sharp detail. The craters were formed when a large fragment of rock crashed onto the moon’s surface, leaving a large hole in the ground of up to a hundred or more miles in diameter. Often a central mountain peek inside the craters was also formed from the same impact.
Other features easily visible on the moon’s surface are mountain ranges, crater chains, rills, valleys, gray lava beds called seas that cover large area’s, and bright rays that emanate from a crater. Even experienced observers of the moon can often find new features not noticed before, because of the shifting sunlight and shadow that darken and lighten the moon’s surface.
Almost any optical device including a good pair of binoculars will show many of these features.