Ultra-thin Crescent Moon

May 21, 2024


Photographer: Juned Patel
Summary Author: Juned Patel

Shown above is an ultra-thin crescent Moon that I captured in the early evening hours of February 10, 2024, from Blackpool, U.K. Can you find it? It's less than one percent illuminated (0.90 percent) -- crescent width of 0.3355 arc minutes, elongation at +11.3249 degrees, altitude at +2.43 degrees, and an age of 18 hours and 31 minutes. This photo is one of a sequence of six photos taken in proximity to the horizon during evening twilight, when the sky exhibited low contrast. 

Two passions fuel my pursuit of the crescent moon. Firstly, as a Muslim, religious festivals are based on the lunar calendar, a practice shared by many other religions. Secondly, I am genuinely fascinated and dedicated to understanding the earliest visibility of the lunar crescent.

Chasing the earliest crescent is a source of immense joy for me. Residing in the U.K. poses challenges, however, as frequent cloudy conditions elevate the complexity of the task. Moreover, the high latitude imposes limitations on collecting observational data for specific positions of various crescent Moons. The difficulty of imaging this particular crescent was beyond my expectations, and I initially doubted the success of its capture.

Photo Details: Nikon DSLR camera; paired with a 500mm lens; mounted on a stable tripod; processed in Photoshop to bring out the intricate details of the crescent, otherwise, the picture is straight from the camera. 

Blackpool, U.K. Coordinates: 53.8234 -3.0267

Related Links:
Very Thin Crescent Moon Observed over Lahore, Pakistan
The Extended Crescent Visibility Criterion