Earthshine on this morning’s waning moon

Just as bright moonlight can illuminate an earthly landscape, so bright Earthlight can illuminate a moonscape. That earthly light on the moon is called earthshine.

View larger. | The waning moon on the morning of September 2, 2013 as seen by EarthSky Facebook friend Jean-Baptiste Feldmann in France. Thank you, Jean-Baptiste!

View larger. | The waning moon on the morning of September 2, 2013 as seen by EarthSky Facebook friend Jean-Baptiste Feldmann in France. Thank you, Jean-Baptiste!

The moon has been visible as a waning crescent in the east before dawn these past few days. It has been beautiful, passing near bright stars and the planets Jupiter and Mars. More about planets near this morning’s moon here.

This photo of this morning’s waning moon – September 2, 2013 – comes to us from Jean-Baptiste Feldmann in France.

He caught the darkened portion of the crescent is illuminated in this way, it’s called earthshine. It’s light from a nearly full Earth, visible now in the lunar sky. In the same way that bright moonlight can illuminate an earthly landscape, so bright Earthlight illuminates the moonscape. And that earthly light is the glow we see on the darkened part of a crescent moon. Earthshine photos and info here.

Jean-Baptiste wrote in his blog:

Deux ou trois jours avant et après la nouvelle Lune, on peut observer à côté du fin croissant le reste du globe légèrement éclairé. C’est la lumière cendrée ou “clair de Terre” : notre planète renvoie dans l’espace assez de lumière pour éclairer la Lune, un phénomène qu’on ne perçoit que lorsque le croissant n’est pas trop lumineux.

[Translation via Google: Two or three days before and after the new moon can be seen next to the crescent the rest of the globe slightly lit. This is the Earthshine or “Earthshine” our planet returns in the space enough light to illuminate the moon, a phenomenon that sees only when the crescent is not too bright.]

Deborah Byrd

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