Crescent Moon and Earthshine Above Costa da Caparica, Portugal
September 28, 2009
The photo above shows a coy, crescent Moon and its accompanying earthshine as observed from Costa da Caparica, in Almada, Portugal, on the evening of April 26, 2009. A hungry cloud appears ready to devour the tasty lunar morsel. The ever bashful Mercury is hidden behind the cloud’s lower “jaw,” beneath the Moon (at 7:00). On this mid spring evening, the Moon and Mercury are in conjunction and very near the Pleiades star cluster. Earthshine or earthlight is the smoky reflected sunlight from the Earth, which is faintly illuminating the Moon’s unlit surface. It's washed out when the Moon shines in the more conspicuous gibbous and full phases.
Photo details: Canon 400D camera; ISO 400; 18 mm; F6.3; exposure of 8 seconds.