Waxing Crescent

by Thomas Thompson March. 31, 2009 8108 views

A waxing crescent moon??sometimes called a ??young moon???is always seen in the west after sunset. At this moon phase, the Earth, moon and sun are located nearly on a line in space. If they were more precisely on a line, as they are at new moon, we wouldn??t see the moon. The moon would travel across the sky during the day, lost in the sun??s glare. Instead, a waxing crescent moon is seen one day to several days after new moon. It rises one hour to several hours behind the sun and follows the sun across the sky during the day. When the sun sets, and the sky darkens, the moon pops into view in the western sky.

Because the waxing crescent moon is nearly on a line with the Earth and sun, the ??day side? is facing mostly away from us. We see only a slender fraction of the day side: a crescent moon. Each evening, because the moon is moving eastward in orbit around Earth, the moon appears farther from the sunset glare. Each evening, as the moon??s orbital motion carries it away from the Earth/sun line, we see more of the moon??s day side. Thus the crescent in the west after sunset appears to wax, or grow fatter each evening.

Note that a crescent moon has nothing to do with Earth??s shadow on the moon. The only time Earth??s shadow can fall on the moon is at full moon, during a lunar eclipse. There IS a shadow on a crescent moon, but it??s the moon??s OWN shadow. Night on the moon happens on the part of the moon submerged in the moon??s own shadow. Likewise, night on Earth happens on the part of Earth submerged in Earth??s own shadow.

You sometimes see a pale glow on the darkened portion (night side) of a crescent moon. This glow is due to light reflected from Earth??s day side. It??s called ??earthshine.?

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Pintã©R Orsi 12 years, 3 months ago

your moon photos are always amazing :)

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Mel 12 years, 3 months ago

Wow .... what an amazing shot.

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Tim 12 years, 3 months ago

Brilliant!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Anka 12 years, 3 months ago

Awesome shot!!!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Leanne......Melbourne, Australia 12 years, 3 months ago

Great post!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Flowerstone 12 years, 3 months ago

Stunning capture Tom!!! I like it!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Carey 12 years, 3 months ago

interesting! that's an amazing photo! :)

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Anca Tudosa 12 years, 3 months ago

added to my fav!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Arie 12 years, 3 months ago

Lovely moon shot

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Nes 12 years, 3 months ago

amazing shot! I never get such good pictures of the moon...
and interesting story too ^^

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Sachiko 12 years, 3 months ago

I seem to be in the quiet outer space when I enlarge a photograph.

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Kecskemétiné Nelli 12 years, 3 months ago

Just perfect.. =)

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Camille 12 years, 3 months ago

oops - the texte is a bit too long for me ... :-(
but the crescent is beautiful !

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Sara G 12 years, 3 months ago

Awesome is the word from me!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Miclaud 12 years, 3 months ago

Amazing!!! I like it!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Christa 12 years, 3 months ago

Wow, a lesson of astronomy.. and a picture like from NASA. Well done!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Andrea Kennard 12 years, 3 months ago

Stunning photo!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Marco 12 years, 3 months ago

Just a word: WOW!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Ricardo 12 years, 3 months ago

hmm!
Thanks for the information :)
Wonderful moon ;P

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Zosia/Sophie 12 years, 3 months ago

It's fantastic! Amazing moon..

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Paul 12 years, 3 months ago

Simply amazing.....

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Mehdi Saharkhiz 12 years, 3 months ago

amazing

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Jacki 12 years, 3 months ago

Good work... someday I will successfully capture the moon!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Tonya 12 years, 3 months ago

Hey, thanks for the lesson. I will never remember all of that, so I hope that there won't be a pop quiz! lol Great photo!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Leocheung 12 years, 3 months ago

An informative post with a fantastic picture.

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Jennye 12 years, 3 months ago

fantastic shot!!
and thanks for the info!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Marsha 12 years, 3 months ago

That's just beautiful - a lot of interesting information, too!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Walter 12 years, 3 months ago

Awesome! :-)

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Brian 12 years, 3 months ago

Cool shot and information!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Jet28 12 years, 3 months ago

I never knew that - thanks :-) Great shot!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Finbarr 12 years, 3 months ago

Stunning shot !!!!! great post !!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Ines 12 years, 3 months ago

Fantastic capture Tom!!! And interesting information too :)

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Kilian 12 years, 3 months ago

wow! that's fantastic! now time to post your photos of the other planets too... :)

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Jumiella 12 years, 3 months ago

Awesome shot, Tom! Thanks for the introduction to subject.

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Pete 12 years, 3 months ago

great post

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Gillian 12 years, 3 months ago

Your moon shots are really getting good now! And all that luna information too!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
Gonia 12 years, 3 months ago

it looks wonderfull on your picture!bravo Tom!

12 years, 3 months ago Edited
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