Old Moon in the New Moon's Arms
Also known as the Moon's "ashen glow" or the "Old Moon in the
New Moon's arms",
earthlight reflected from the Moon's night side.
This stunning image of earthshine from a young crescent moon
was taken from Las Campanas Observatory, Atacama Desert, Chile,
near moonset on January 18.
Dramatic atmospheric inversion
above the Pacific
Ocean, colored by the sunset at the planet's western horizon.
But the view from the Moon would have been stunning, too.
When the Moon appears in Earth's sky as a slender crescent,
a dazzlingly bright, nearly full Earth would be seen
from the lunar surface.
A description of earthshine, in terms of sunlight
reflected by Earth's oceans in turn illuminating
the Moon's dark surface, was written 500 years ago by
Leonardo da Vinci