Venus and the Moon Tonight, April 21, 2015


Brilliant Venus is joined by the crescent moon this evening in the western sky.  In the image above, the moon is overexposed in this 10-second exposure.  Tonight the moon is 4 degrees to the upper left of the star Aldebaran and nearly 8 degrees from Venus.


In this close-up view of the same scene in a two-second exposure, the moon’s crescent is distinct along with a soft glow from the lunar night portion.  This effect is known as “earthshine.”  Sunlight reflected from Earth, which is just past the full phase as seen from the moon, gently illuminates the night portion of the moon, similar to the manner in which a full moon illuminates the terrestrial landscape.

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