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Moon and Earthshine

Date:5.5.2000 Time:approx.19:50 UT Exposure:about 15s
Field:1.2o x 1.0o Detector:Kodak Royal Gold 400 Filter:none
Telescope:f=1000mm, 1/10 Place:Tenerife Observer:T. Credner

© Copyright by the Observers

In an evening about two days after New Moon you can observe the young waxing Moon deep above the western horizon. The same holds for the old waning moon two days before New Moon. In the morning it will rise above the eastern horizon. Due to the small angular distance to the sun the lunar sphere is illuminated almost from behind and the moon appears as a small sickle. However, under a clear sky you also can see the rest of the lunar surface in a faint grey, the so called Earthshine. It's sunlight reflected back from earth to the moon and vice versa. An astronaut on the moon would see almost a "full earth" at this time.

The age of the moon, i.e. the time span after new moon, was 38.5 hours at the time of the above observation. Due to overexposure the sickle appears larger on the image than it was to the naked eye. The visible stars belong to the open star cluster of the Hyades in the constellation of the bull.