The Earth’s shadow extends about 860,000 miles into outer space. That distance is the equivalent of about 109 Earth diameters or one sun diameter, or better than three times the moon’s distance from Earth.
A viewer wrote:
It’s hard to understand this as a shadow. Is it comparable to a shadow as we usually think of it? I guess it seems funny that it is projected onto…..space.
EarthSky’s Bruce McClure replied:
Yes, comparable to a shadow as we usually think of, though on a much larger scale. During the nighttime, we’re actually sitting in the Earth’s own shadow. Given clear skies, you can watch the Earth’s shadow rising upward in the east as the sun falls farther beneath the horizon in the west. Or if you’re up before sunrise, you can watch the Earth’s shadow sinking in the west as the sun climbs upward toward the eastern horizon.
Bottom line: Alice McClure captured this image of Earth’s shadow on November 8, 2015.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.