June 3 – June 8, 2021: Each morning before sunrise, look eastward for the waning crescent moon. Each morning the moon is farther eastward and lower in the sky, while the phase wanes to a thin crescent.
By Jeffrey L. Hunt
Step outside about 45 minutes before sunrise each morning from June 3 – June 8. The crescent moon is there. This part of the sky does not have many bright stars that can pierce colors of the awaiting sunrise.
Each morning, the moon is lower in the sky and farther eastward.
At every observation, notice the phase is getting thinner or it is waning, an “old moon.” As the illuminated portion thins, the night portion brightens slightly.
From the moon, Earth’s phase is waxing toward the Full Earth phase. Reflected sunlight from Earth’s oceans, land, and clouds, gently illuminates the night portion in a manner similar to a bright moon illuminating the terrestrial landscape. On the moon, this is called “earthshine.”
Here are the illuminations for these mornings:
June 3: 39%
June 4: 30%
June 5: 21%
June 6: 14%
June 7: 8%
June 8: 4%
This can be photographed with a tripod-mounted camera with a telephoto lens. Depending on the camera properties, earthshine can be captured with an exposure of several seconds.
For photographers, the image above that shows earthshine on the moon along with Venus was made with a 140mm lens, f/5.6, 2.5 seconds. The ISO was set at 400.
The moon is heading toward its New Moon phase and a solar eclipse on June 10. The annular eclipse is visible from Canada and Russia. Parts of the US and Canada see a partial eclipse near sunrise.
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September 30, 2021: An hour before sunrise, the crescent moon is near the Gemini Twins.
September 29, 2021: The thick crescent moon is in the southeast before sunrise, approaching the middle of Gemini. The evening planet pack is visible after sunset.
September 28, 2021: This morning the moon, as it approaches its Last Quarter phase, is high in the south at the Gemini – Taurus border. The evening planet pack – Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn – brightly shine after sunset.
September 27, 2021: Before sunrise this morning, the bright moon seems caught between the horns of Taurus, Elnath and Zeta Tauri. The planet pack, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn, are visible after sundown.