Earthshine and Da Vinci

March 24, 2014


Photographer: Miguel Claro
Summary Author: Miguel Claro

The photo above shows an outstanding example of earthshine, as observed from Almada, Portugal. This sliver of the crescent Moon, looking very much like a Cheshire grin, was snapped on February 1, 2014, at 7:17 p.m.

The phenomenon known as earthshine was described and drawn for the first time by the great Leonardo da Vinci, nearly 500 years ago in his book Codex Leicester. Da Vinci realized that both the Earth and the Moon reflected sunlight at the same time. Light is reflected from the Earth to the Moon and back to the Earth as earthshine.

Photo Details: This is a composition of my image and an image of a page from Da Vinci's Codex. Astro Professional ED80 telescope with 57 0mm; Vixen GP2 Photo Guider S tracking mount; f/7; Canon 50D camera; ISO 400; 6-second exposure.