Belt of Venus and Full Moon

February 14, 2005

Belt_of_venus5-jan1703 copy

Provided and copyright by: Rick Stankiewicz
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Rick Stankiewicz

This romantic scene was captured on a winter's evening in 2003. Just before sunset, a nearly full Moon rose in the eastern sky as I headed home near Peterborough, Ontario. The subtle band of pink between the horizon and the Moon was not lost on me -- the beautiful and demure Belt of Venus. The darker band just below the glow of the Belt of Venus is actually the shadow of the Earth cast upon the atmosphere. Due to the Sun's position near the horizon, the scattered sunlight is reddened, giving a somewhat pinkish hue to the part of the sky, opposite the Sun, atop the Earth's shadow. On the next clear evening (or morning), take a look -- you can see the Belt of Venus from almost any location having an unobscured horizon. See also tomorrow's Earth Science Picture of the Day.

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