Tonight i saw a wonderful example of “the old Moon in the arms of the new”, better known as earthshine.

When the Moon is new (and right now it is very new – just a thin sliver of sunlight is peeping around the side) then someone standing on the Moon would see a full Earth. Think how bright a full Moon can be for us on a clear night – the reflection of the Sun provides us a lot of light on such nights. Imagine how much more brightly it works the other way around – so brightly in fact that we can see the Moon shining with the reflection from the Earth.

Earthshine moon and Jupiter

If you do not see the silhouette of the trees, turn your screen brightness up. Then you should also see the earthshine on the unlit part of the Moon.

Our camera is not made for night time, but it does have a 3-second exposure. Unfortunately the tiniest shake shows up greatly exaggerated. I managed to capture this shot with the camera stuck against the window frame using blu-tack, and using the two-second timer feature. Otherwise the act of me pressing the button causes too much of a shake!

Oh by the way, i forgot to say, there’s Jupiter shining as brightly as anything, too! The combination in the early night sky made for a beautiful sight, of which my photograph only conveys the tiniest fraction. If you have a clear night tonight or tomorrow, do have a look. It’s incredible.

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